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Olfaction, the first and the last sense

A note by Garmt Dijksterhuis and Sanne Boesveldt presenting ten areas where there are opportunities for olfactory science to make new and important discoveries Olfaction, the first and the last sense. Garmt Dijksterhuis (WUR, Wageningen Food and Biobased Research) Sanne Boesveldt (WUR, division of Human Nutrition and Health) 1 Background Olfaction ...
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Review “Destilleren: de kunst van het ruiken” Fenny van Wees

Jenever heeft een lange en rijke traditie in Nederland. Toch wordt er maar weinig over geschreven, en is het alweer zo’n 200 jaar geleden sinds er een boek, geschreven door een distillateur, over verscheen in Nederland (Den volmaekten brandewijnstooker, uit 1794). En daar komt bij dat de traditie om genever ...
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Ode aan onze neus: We zijn prima ruikers

Asifa Majid was interviewed for a Volkskrant feature about the human olfactory ability ...
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Sniffing alone can activate olfactory regions in anosmic patients.

NOSE member Sanne Boesveldt recently featured in de Volkskrant about her new publication in  Human Brain Mapping ...
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The stink that makes you think: Pollution Pods

An art installation at Somerset House in London lets visitors experience the air of some pollution hotspots in the world. Michael Pinksy is the artist behind this art work. Visitors can walk in the 'pods' and will experience different polutions. New Delhi: the suffocating smell of old cars and industry ...
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NOSE member Sanne Boesveldt wins Barry Jacobs memorial award at AChemS 2018

AChemS 2018 – an impression by NOSE member Sanne Boesveldt AChemS, the Association for Chemoreception Sciences, is a scientific research organization dedicated to understanding the "chemical senses" of smell, taste, trigeminal irritation and internal chemoreception from the fundamentals of neurobiology to complex behavior (achems.org). It’s annual conference is hosted in ...
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New Exhibition: “The Senses: Design Beyond Vision”

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, is currently featuring an exhibit "The Senses: Design Beyond Vision". Asifa Majid was involved in one of the installations "Dialect for a New Era" in collaboration with International Flavors & Fragrances, Inc. and perfumer Laurent Le Guernec. The piece was created by Frederik Duerinck and Marcel Van Brakel, ...
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Sanne Boesveldt received the prestigious BARRY JACOBS MEMORIAL AWARD

At the AChemS conference (Association for Chemoreception Sciences) Nose Network member Sanne Boesveldt was awarded the prestigious BARRY JACOBS MEMORIAL AWARD for Research in the Psychophysics of Human Taste and Smell. It is awarded to an outstanding junior scientist whose research record provides evidence of excellence and the promise to emerge as a leader ...
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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