Why odor memories are so evocative

[Sandeep Robert] Datta, whose HMS lab studies how animals use senses to understand the world around them, says that neuroscience has revealed the mechanisms behind odor’s power to spur memory — a power with evolutionary origins. Our ancient ancestors relied on smell to build maps of their surroundings and remember where they’d been. “You can think of the original brain as being a sense of smell plus a sense of navigation plus a sense of memory,” Datta says. “That explains why all those structures are so intimately connected, and why odor memories are so evocative.”

— Read more in The Connections Between Smell, Memory, and Health at Harvard Medicine.


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