Prikkels: over de ongekende schoonheid van ons reukorgaan

De NTR heeft een serie documentaires gemaakt over onze zintuigen. Op vrijdag 15 april 2022 wordt om 22:27 uur op NPO2 een documentaire getoond die het menselijk reukvermogen uitlicht. We ruiken aan een stuk door: ons eten, onze geliefden, ons huis. Vaak gebeurt dat zo ongemerkt dat we het belang ervan ...
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A small chat about (big) noses with Caro Verbeek

Just last year, NOSE member Caro Verbeek published a book titled 'Een kleine cultuurgeschiedenis van de (grote) neus' (A small cultural history of the (big) nose), on why people are depicted with large noses on renaissance paintings, shifting beauty standards, and much more. Ilja Croijmans had the chance to interview ...
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Why are some people more sensitive to the smell of sweat?

In a global team-effort, scientists, including NOSE member Monique Smeets, discovered genetic variants linked to the perception of the musky scent of galaxolide and 3M2H, a compound found in body odour with the characteristics smell of sweat, allowing them to identify the odour receptors involved in the detection of these ...
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Neusgierige wetenschappers verzamelen geurtaal en geurgebruiken

Hoe ruikt januari voor u? Zwavelig naar vuurwerk en ranzig naar oliebollen? Heumig of muf vanwege het binnen zitten? Drassig naar regen en modder? Aromatisch omdat alcohol tijdelijk door rooibosthee wordt vervangen? Branderig naar stookkachels; voor de een balsemiek en voor de ander een meur? Of is januari geurloos omdat ...
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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