jump to last post 1-5 of 5 discussions (5 posts)

Why does smell evoke memories?

  1. sofs profile image81
    sofsposted 5 years ago

    Why does smell evoke memories?

    Could you explain this?

  2. melpor profile image94
    melporposted 5 years ago

    All our memories are created from information gathered through our five senses. So if you smell, taste, hear, see, or touch something that created a pleasant or unpleasant experience you will create a strong memory associated with it. This is the basis of learning for all animals including us. So if your senses are stimulated by a previous encountered with that stimulus you will either avoid it or enjoy it the next time that experience is encountered because you remembered it.

  3. Claudia47 profile image66
    Claudia47posted 5 years ago

    Odor and memory are connected because of your anatomy - specifically, your brain.

    The primary olfactory cortex, (part of the brain having to do with smell) receives information about smells from nerves in the nose.  It links directly to the amygdala **  and the hippocampus*** .

    ** amygdala - (almond-shaped groups of nuclei located deep within the medial temporal lobes of the brain - controls expression and experience of emotion)

    *** hippocampus - (a major component of the brains of humans and other vertebrates. It belongs to the limbic system and and controls the consolidation of memories)

  4. LailaK profile image77
    LailaKposted 5 years ago

    Because the olfactory nerve (smelling nerve) passes directly through the hippocampus (memory storage area).

  5. Rochelle Frank profile image95
    Rochelle Frankposted 5 years ago

    I know this is true-- but didn't know the technical details until I read some of the other answers here. Fascinating.
    I know that the smell of paper, printer's ink and kerosene evoke memories of my dad's print shop, for me.
    I have read books that describe smells, like ocean, rain, dried pine needles and get an immediate impression of the scene the author describes. I think this is one reason why good narrative writing includes all of the sensory cues in descriptions.