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Nature Neuroscience

September 26, 2011

The arrangement of smell receptors in the human nose is organized, in part, according to the perception of odor pleasantness, reports a study published online this week in Nature Neuroscience. These findings are the first systematic study of odor receptor responses in humans, who can report on subjective pleasantness of odors, which is difficult to measure in animals.

Noam Sobel and colleagues recorded neural activity directly from the lining of the human nose in response to a range of odors, and also asked these individuals to judge the pleasantness (or unpleasantness) of each odor. They found that a location that responded best to a pleasant odor was likely to respond strongly to other pleasant odors, and a location that responded best to an unpleasant odor was likely to respond strongly to other unpleasant odors.

DOI:10.1038/nn.2926 | Original article

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