Squirk's Overseas Experience

The tales of one Kiwi returning to Mother Britain and exploring the Big Wide World... without being eaten by a shark.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Sense of smell and taste

New Scientist magazine (and a bunch of others) report that blindfolded students can follow their nose and track a chocolate rope through the grass. Not as good as a dog, but they improved with training. (Dogs have had their whole lives to practice.)

I seriously think that London has damaged my senses. I think that's one reason the food never really excites me here. There are tastes and scents I used to find delicious, but now I now can barely notice the flavour.

It's probably a coping technique, a dampening filter so that I don't go choke on the bad smells. There's the smoke in pubs, which sticks to your clothes. There's the exhaust fumes from underground trains which stick to the station walls and the inside of your nose. The traffic probably doesn't help either, but it's not as noticeable.

It's good to see evidence that I'll probably get it back, though — one guy found that boot camp sorted out his nose to the point where he could locate women by smell. Creepy, but reassuring.


  • At 8:00 am AEDT, Blogger Andrew Brown said…

    Your sense of smell is the only sense that doesn't go through your hippocampus. Interesting..

    I see your pre-new years resolution is working out for you

  • At 12:42 am AEDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i can smell you from here...

  • At 10:32 am AEDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I can smell chocolate logs...

  • At 9:51 am AEDT, Blogger Joel said…

    Smell is possibly linked to quantum effects.

    Also, smell is the quickest sense to adapt. Thus if you enter a room that stinks, it'll eventually be difficult to notice. But if you leave said room for a 30 seconds or so and then come back in, you'll notice the stink again.

    Of course, the stronger the smell the longer it takes to adapt.


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