New study reveals how the brain organizes information about odors

Tuesday, July 14, 2020 - 16:11 in Psychology & Sociology

The premiere of the movie “Scent of Mystery” in 1960 marked a singular event in the annals of cinema: the first, and last, motion picture debut “in glorious Smell-O-Vision.” Hoping to wow moviegoers with a dynamic olfactory experience alongside the familiar spectacles of sight and sound, select theaters were outfitted with a Rube Goldberg-esque device that piped different scents directly to seats. Audiences and critics quickly concluded that the experience stunk. Fraught with technical issues, Smell-O-Vision was panned and became a running gag that holds a unique place in entertainment history. The flop of Smell-O-Vision, however, failed to deter entrepreneurs from continuing to chase the dream of delivering smells to consumers, particularly in recent years, through digital scent technologies. Such efforts have generated news headlines but scant success, due in part to a limited understanding of how the brain translates odor chemistry into perceptions of smell — a phenomenon that in many ways remains...

Read the whole article on Harvard Science

More from Harvard Science

Latest Science Newsletter

Get the latest and most popular science news articles of the week in your Inbox! It's free!

Check out our next project, Biology.Net