Thursday, October 16, 2014

Research On The Effects of Odor

Perception of odours

Enriched odor exposure increases the number of newborn neurons in the adult olfactory bulb and improves odor memory
Use of aromatherapy (with or without hypnosis) in the treatment of intractable epilepsy--a two-year follow-up study

Odor Research

The limbic system and epilepsy

Smell of fear

The following information is from Michael Castleman's book Nature's Cures.  

Alan R. Hirsch, M.D.., neurological director of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago:
There's a whole world out there at the tip of our noses.  We've found that the sense of smell can evoke powerful memories and change people's perceptions and behavior."

Brain wave studies by Dr. Hirsch have shown that some scents, such as lavender, increase alpha brain waves associated with relaxation, while others, like jasmine, boost beta waves linked to alertness."

At Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, some patients before their full body MRIs, were given heliotropin, a close relative of vanilla oil.  Compared with those who received no aromatherapy, the heliotropin group reported significantly less anxiety.  

Robert Baron, Ph.D. professor in the School of Management at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, gave 120 students two mental tasks - proofreading and unscrambling letters to form words.  Half of the students worked in an unscented room, while half worked in a room containing floran and fruit/herbal fragrances such as apple-cinnamon.  Those in the scented room performed 25 percent better.

A similar experiment in Japan showed that when the aroma of lemon was added to an office building's ventilation system, clerical errors declined 53 percent.

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