Thursday, October 16, 2014
Smell of fear
Dogs and horses can smell fear in humans. Recent work by Denise Chen (Chen & Haviland-Jones, Physiology and Behaviour 1999; 68: 241-250) has demonstrated the ability of underarm odour to influence mood in others. Karl Grammer, in Vienna, has recently demonstrated that the smell of fear can be detected (by women) in the armpit secretions of people who watched a terrifying film (Ackerl, Atzmueller & Grammer, Neuroendocrinol Lett 2002;23(2): 79-84). The implication of this work is that a chemical signal is secreted in sweat which communicates the emotion. More recent work has demonstrated that the odour of the sweat collected from first-time sky divers activates the amygdala in recipients of that odour. (Chemosensory Cues to Conspecific Emotional Stress Activate Amygdala in Humans. Mujica-Parodi LR et al. 2009 PLoS ONE 4(7): e6415. ).
posted at http://www.cf.ac.uk/biosi/staffinfo/jacob/teaching/sensory/olfact1.html#Memory