News:

Caro Verbeek appeared on BYU radio to talk about smell

Caro Verbeek appeared on Marcus Smith's radio show Constant Wonder, to talk about the sense of smell! from the radio's website: Smell historian, Caro Verbeek, talks about our most underrated of the five senses; Professor Lawrence Bonassar shares why we can't seem to grow our own limbs back; Dr. Keith Hampton complicates ...
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Can you train your nose?? Yes!

Ilona (Owusu) from Reuksmaakstoornis.nl has been diagnosed with anosmia in 2015. Last week, she was interviewed by the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad about her experience with smell training, to regain her olfactory sense. You can read about it here (in Dutch): https://www.ad.nl/gezond/br-ilona-zou-nooit-meer-kunnen-ruiken-totdat-ze-zichzelf-trainde-met-geurpotjes~a27b3bfc/  Have you lost your sense of smell, or do ...
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Jasper de Groot becomes member of the Utrecht Young Academy

Last week the Utrecht Young Academy (UYA)’s selection committee finished the application and selection procedure for the newest generation UYA members. It was then that Nose member Jasper de Groot heard that he is also part of this years group of new UYA members. UYA is a select group of ...
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New course at Vrije Universiteit: Knowing by Sensing

The Free University (Vrije Universiteit) will receive a Comenius funding for object and sense-based learning for the new and innovative humanities course ‘Knowing by Sensing’ (designed by Caro Verbeek en Wouter de Vries) within the discipline of Medical History, chaired by Manon Parry. In this course, that will start in ...
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The smell of data – an olfactory warning system for a digital world

Olfactory artist and designer Leanne Wijnsma created the 'smell of data': how can smell be used in a digital world? Since smell is difficult, impossible even, to digitize,  what role may smell have when our daily activities take place in a digital setting more and more? Leanne got the idea ...
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A role for smells in a digitized world

What role can smells play in an increasingly digitized world, when smells may never be fully digitized the same way pictures or sounds may be digitized? Smells always alarmed us of danger, and the digital world is not without peril either. Artist Leanne Wijnsma and NOSE member art and scent historian ...
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Disgusting smells decrease sexual arousal

Dutch summary follows English English summary: In a very recent study by Charmaine Borg, NOSE member Sanne Boesveldt and others, the relationship between disgusting smells and sexual arousal was investigated. Can disgusting smells mitigate sexual arousal in men? And could this be used in preventive measures such as bracelets that give ...
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Jasper de Groot was interviewed for the Dutch psychology magazine ‘De Psycholoog’

Nose member Jasper de Groot received a NWO VENI grant recently, we have shared the details about this before. The Dutch psychology magazine De Psycholoog interviewed Jasper about his plans, but also about our sense of smell more generally. You can download and read the interview here (PDF, in Dutch): De Psycholoog ...
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Highlights from the inaugural NOSE scientific meeting

 

Despite the long and illustrious history of olfaction research in the Netherlands (e.g., Hendrik
Zwaardemaker from Utrecht University invented the olfactometer in 1888), there has never been a
dedicated national platform for olfactory researchers and allied parties to meet and exchange the
latest research perspectives. On November 15th the inaugural NOSE scientific meeting was held at
Utrecht University. The meeting included speakers from a range of disciplines (from medicine to art
history), and highlighted the breadth of olfactory research present today in the Netherlands. We
present some highlights of the events for those budding odour enthusiasts who were unable to
attend, and for those enthusiastic attendees who would like to relive the day.

Sanne Boesveldt (Wageningen University) discussed how olfactory cues can affect appetite and
eating behaviour, raising questions about when odours can be effective cues for food, and whether
they could be manipulated to increase healthy food behaviour. Peter de Jong (University of
Groningen) introduced how odour can be used in psychopathology and explained how disgust odours
can affect sexual behaviour. Garmt Dijksterhuis (Wageningen University) strongly argued olfactory
transmission is an unlikely possibility, highlighting differences between olfaction and vision and
sound. Andrea Evers (Leiden University) raised the question of whether odours can be useful in
placebo research and provided evidence that odours can condition physiological responses. Rob
Holland (Radboud University) again highlighted the relationship between disgust and odour, showing
that disgusting pictures can lower olfactory threshold, implying we become more attuned to odour
when we’re in a state of disgust. Asifa Majid (Radboud University) added a cross-cultural perspective,
showing that although vision language dominates across languages, in some cultures elaborate odour
lexicons exist. With an interactive odour presentation, Caro Verbeek (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
explored historical smells and taught us how to “look at art with an olfactory gaze”. Wilbert Boek
(Hospital Gelderse Vallei) discussed odour from the perspective of an ENT doctor, and emphasised
the effect anosmia can have on one’s daily life, and how the medical profession should be more
aware of its importance. The meeting ended with Monique Smeets (Utrecht University), describing
her work on the role of odour in social signalling, for example, the odour of fearful sweat can lead to
fear expressions, and the odour of happy sweat can lead to happy expressions.
After this fascinating first meeting, we look forward to hearing from new members, and to further
olfactory events in the near future.

Laura Speed