The Art of Smell
Our sense of smell is a lot more sensitive than any other. Smells have effects that are beyond our conscious control and are also intimately linked to the world of emotions in such a way that they can evoke sensations or even moods. The smell of our fellow human beings actually helps us to feel empathy and regulates our sexual and social behavior. Humans can distinguish millions of smells…. But it is the forgotten sense, a sensory skill so important and exciting that it should occupy a prominent place in artistic perception.
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Laura López-Mascaraque has a PhD in Neurosciences and is a researcher at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). She is President of the Spanish Olfactory Network (ROE) and was elected President of the European Chemoreception Research Organization (ECRO). She currently leads a research group examining brain development at the Cajal Institute in Madrid, in particular how a set of neural stem cells expands and differentiates to finally create a brain of an appropriate size and cellular composition.