Funding for large-scale research into loss of smell and taste due to COVID-19

The Dutch health organization ZonMw has awarded funding for a large-scale study into loss of smell and taste as a result of COVID-19. During this research, the development of loss of smell and taste (anosmia) and olfactory distortions (parosmia) are examined. Little is known worldwide about this last symptom. The ...
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Parosmie en fantosmie

In recent onderzoek van het Global Consortium for Chemosensory Research (GCCR) is gebleken dat mensen die reuk en smaakveranderingen ervaren door corona, ook vaak veranderingen in hun reuk ervaren. Wanneer je geuren ruikt van dingen die er niet zijn, zoals brand, dan noemen we dat fantosmie. Als geuren anders ruiken ...
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hearing music in a smelly environment

Music mitigates the affective effect of the most smelly smells

In everyday life, we automatically regulate negative emotions by exposure to other positive stimuli. This happens without any conscious cognitive engagement; however, the effects of such implicit regulation on mood remain poorly investigated in research. Yet, improving implicit emotional regulation could reduce psychological burden and therefore be clinically relevant for ...
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NOSE at ECRO! – LIVE from Portugal (13-16 sept)

Oh, how we all long for a REAL conference - to discuss science, meet people new and old, and be away from the day-to-day business of research and teaching from home - instead of another virtual online meeting in Zoom or Teams.. Well, this will happen: September 13-16 you can ...
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On the origin of the Netherlands Olfaction Science Exchange (NOSE)

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.

Laura Speed