Chemische structuur van angstzweet blootgelegd

Dat mensen angst kunnen ruiken is al enige tijd bekend. Onderzoekers van de Universiteit Utrecht (o.a., Monique Smeets en Jasper de Groot) hebben samen met wetenschappers van Unilever R&D ontdekt dat angstzweet een andere chemische samenstelling heeft dan zweet dat vrijkomt bij andere emoties. Hun bevindingen zijn verschenen in het ...
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(Dutch news article): Geur is uitermate belangrijk voor smaakbeleving!

Geur is uitermate belangrijk voor smaakbeleving, niet alleen bij eten, maar ook voor e-sigaretten. Het RIVM samen met Wageningen University (NOSE member Sanne Boesveldt), doet onderzoek naar de geur- en smaakbeleving van e-sigaretten, in verschillende doelgroepen (jongeren en volwassenen, rokers en niet-rokers). Op basis hiervan hopen we bij te kunnen ...
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Kletskoppen Festival – come talk about smells with dr. Laura Speed!

On Saturday February 29th Kletskoppen festival takes place in library de Marienburg in Nijmegen, from 9.30 – 16.00. During this festival children can experience first-hand why scientific research is important and exciting. The festival focuses on research related to language, and NOSE member Laura Speed will be demonstrating how talking ...
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Humans are no odor zombies: Motivated behavior as induced by smells is context-dependent

Jasper de Groot and Monique Smeets just published an article in the high impact journal Behavior Research Methods, in which they teased apart the role of context and type of smell on motivation and behavior. Their study applied virtual reality (VR) to create a real-world, immersive setting that was compared to a traditional, ...
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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