Odor Sensation And Memory

Hardcover | November 1, 1991

byTrygg Engen

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Our sense of smell, as Trygg Engen reminds us early in this definitive work, has been neglected as a research area. This neglect belies the very critical role that the sense plays in human adaptation to the environment through the monitoring of odors. Smell is "learned" through experience and results, Engen maintains, in a schema of memory system that enables individuals to process and categorize odors. There are closer relationships between the individual detecting an odor, the circumstances or environment, and the reaction of pleasure or aversion than with the other senses. When future occasions present the same or similar odors, memory will bring back the early experience and directly affect the reaction to the new stimuli. Engen sees odor perception as mainly psychological, unlike the traditional approach which sees the sense largely as an innate mechanism with a direct physiological basis. The research underlying this book is the most current in sensory cognition, reminding the reader of the importance of the sense of smell through examples of what deprivation entails. The author develops an appreciation of the odor-sensing ability mankind has and explores the uses to which that sense is applied. The ability to relate past to present perception--odor memory--and the gradations of odor impact are discussed, as well as the engaging questions of fragrances effects on behavior, odors and sexuality, mother-infant bonding, and pollution. This book is essential reading for all who work in areas relating to sensory perception and cognition.

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Our sense of smell, as Trygg Engen reminds us early in this definitive work, has been neglected as a research area. This neglect belies the very critical role that the sense plays in human adaptation to the environment through the monitoring of odors. Smell is "learned" through experience and results, Engen maintains, in a schema of me...

Format:HardcoverDimensions:168 pages, 8.58 × 5.76 × 0.69 inPublished:November 1, 1991Publisher:Praeger Publishers

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0275941116

ISBN - 13:9780275941116

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?Engen, a psychologist who has studied human odor perception for more than 30 years, demands that when it comes to the cognitive side of human olfaction, we must believe that it is all "nurture" and no "nature," and dismisses the possibility that any odor might have an innate, pheromone-like action in humans. Engen maintains that prior to our initial experience, odors are hedonically neutral, neither pleasant nor unpleasant. The hedonic quality of a particular odor is determined only by the situational context in which the odor was first perceived--an odor becoming forever bound to the pleasantness (or unpleasantness) of that initial experience. The real importance of this work is Engen's view that odors serve as quick and efficient "index keys" for our memory retrieval system. By tightly binding an odor to a particular memory, we can rapidly search our memory, database to determine whether a particular odor was previously associated with a positive situation that would now favor approach behavior or avoidance. The concept is appealing, if not intuitive, since it seems to confer obvious survival value. An important book that should be added to any collection of works on human sensory perception.??Choice