Smells have lasting effect on brain

November 9, 2009 4:32:38 AM PST
Do you remember the very first time you smelled a certain kind of flower or fresh baked cookies? You almost certainly don't, but new research suggests your brain does. Israeli scientists say the very first time we smell something, whether it's good or bad, the brain makes an imprint. These are called "odor memories" and they were found in volunteers who were shown objects paired with certain odors. A week later they were shown the objects again, and through special imaging, scientists could see specific areas of the brain light up.

The research in the journal Current Biology could eventually help scientists create new treatments to boost memory or erase unpleasant memories such as trauma.