Proof: The nose knows

Proof: The nose knows

This is a discussion on Proof: The nose knows within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; According to a new study, the human nose can quickly learn to discriminate between what's dangerous and not, due to our evolutionary machinery. Unpreparedness stinks, ...

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Thread: Proof: The nose knows

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Jul 2006

    Proof: The nose knows

    According to a new study, the human nose can quickly learn to discriminate between what's dangerous and not, due to our evolutionary machinery.

    Unpreparedness stinks, in a manner of speaking. Might help explain why it can often take a bad situation to help people come 'round to the fact that being prepared useful to surviving the types of encounters we discuss here.

    Link to article: click.
    Human noses 'can detect danger'

    Our noses can quickly learn to link even subtle changes in smell with danger, claim scientists.

    Volunteers who could not differentiate between two similar smells found they could do it easily after being given a mild electric shock alongside one.

    Brain scans confirmed the change in the "smelling" part of the brain.

    The US research, published in the journal Science, suggests our distant ancestors evolved the ability to keep us away from predators.

    The 12 volunteers were exposed to two "grassy" odours, and none of them could accurately tell the difference between them.

    After they were shocked while smelling one of them, they developed the ability to discriminate between the two.

    Researcher Dr Wen Li, of the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, in Chicago, said: ""It's evolutionary. This helps us to have a very sensitive ability to detect something that is important to our survival from an ocean of environmental information.

    "It warns us that it's dangerous and we have to pay attention to it."

    Complex organ

    MRI scans, which can measure brain activity, revealed clear differences in a part of the brain called the olfactory cortex before and after the shocks.

    Dr Geraldine Wright, from the University of Newcastle has carried out similar work in animals - and says that fundamentally, the human smell system is designed in the same way.

    She said that the sensitivity of the human nose was not vastly inferior to many other creatures.

    "In terms of the number of olfactory receptors in our noses, we do pretty compared to some other species, and we can sense a lot of different smells.

    "If the brain has to remember some detail in order to avoid a bad outcome, it will do it pretty quickly."
    Story from BBC NEWS:
    BBC NEWS | Health | Human noses 'can detect danger'

    Published: 2008/03/28 12:44:41 GMT
    Brady Bunch solution: The "new toaster." A cattle prod with every new bank account opened.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: Why the Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).

  2. #2
    Senior Member Array elrey718's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    “Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself if your loved ones were attacked and killed, and you had to stand there helplessly because you were unprepared for that day?”


  3. #3
    VIP Member
    Array nn's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    Sounds kinda like Pavlov's dog.

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Nov 2005

    They spent time and money to find this out?!
    It's called learned response and it's psych 101type stuff.
    All animals have this capacity toward all of our sense from sight to touch to smell to hearing, and even our spidey sense aka 'gut feeling' for things not quite being right as well.

    Amazing that this is new news to these people.
    Where do they live, a petri dish?
    Real world examples of same are and have around since time immemorial.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array JonInNY's Avatar
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    Mid-Hudson Valley New York State
    Quote Originally Posted by nn View Post
    Sounds kinda like Pavlov's dog.

    Hmm, that rings a bell...
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch; Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
    -- Benjamin Franklin

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array dunndw's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    Breaking science news just in...water is....WET! More to come.
    "If I was an extremist, our founding fathers would all be extremists," he said. "Without them, we wouldn't have our independence. We'd be a disarmed British system of feudal subjectivity."

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