Why Smell and Flavor Trigger Memories

Perfume. Pancakes. Pink erasers. Have you noticed how certain smells bring back vivid memories? There's a reason why, according to this neuroscience professor.👃

A simple smell or of taste will bring back this memory quite vividly

Why do certain smells or tastes trigger memories? Stuart Firestein, a neuroscience professor at Columbia University, has studied the olfactory system for over 35 years. Memories from a smell or flavor are usually strong and emotional. “Most of what we call taste is really flavor. It's about 80% due to your olfactory system when you chew food up, you send vapors up the backside of your palate onto your nasal epithelium we call it, and then the cells in your nose which smell it. We don't smell something and remember a page of text or a phone number of formulas anything useful like that, we always have these emotionally-laden memories — your grandmother's basement or kitchen, your first lover, or the first day of school. In Alzheimer's patients or patients suffering from forms of dementia where they have trouble forming new memories especially, but where old memories still exist, you can treat them to odors that would be part of their old there older life as it were, their past life — perfumes they wore or foods they cooked. Some of these memories are similar in some ways to PTSD, post-traumatic stress syndrome. Where in the case of olfactory memories, a simple smell or of taste will bring back this memory quite vividly,” Dr. Firestein explains

Dr. Stuart Firestein is the Chair of Columbia University's Department of Biological Sciences. His colleagues and he study the vertebrate olfactory receptor neuron as a model for investigating general principles and mechanisms of "signal transduction" — the ways in which chemicals, such as neurotransmitters, hormones, and peptides with membrane receptors, exert their influence in the brain and nervous system. He hypothesizes that the olfactory neuron is uniquely suited for these studies since it is designed specifically for the detection and discrimination of a wide variety of small organic molecules, like odors.


09/08/2019 1:58 PM


  • Maayo R.
    10/30/2019 04:56

    True I can very much relate to it....

  • Ranja N.
    10/29/2019 03:26

    How amazing!

  • Lurine A.
    10/27/2019 00:40

    Wow amazing

  • Abubakarr K.
    10/21/2019 15:12


  • ငယá€č င.
    10/18/2019 07:33


  • Carol C.
    10/15/2019 23:51

    Falto los subtitulos en español

  • Elsa M.
    10/07/2019 08:48


  • Noor K.
    10/06/2019 15:25

    All five senses have memories

  • Vianty P.
    10/02/2019 01:38

    All thought move on ,, just some think like that eks hysband verry long years time a go mean...

  • Rabah K.
    09/29/2019 18:03

    La ou tout le monde va bien tout et beaux et magnifique. DerriĂšre ya beaucoup de morts et de misĂšre et de famine j'espĂšre que le bon dieu rendrait ce qui leurs apartien

  • Gxnn M.
    09/29/2019 03:12

    Obent Vera! Interestingggg 😂😂

  • Lenard E.
    09/28/2019 06:13

    Amo ng Maggi beef dati😂

  • Jolie J.
    09/27/2019 22:24

    C'est mentionné dans le Saint Coran ça fait plus de 1400 ans .

  • Ramesh M.
    09/27/2019 11:27


  • Daw T.
    09/22/2019 15:38


  • Margarita R.
    09/21/2019 22:16

    Que importante es esa forma que tenemos los humanos de siempre oler las comidas. Muy interesante.

  • Deolindoarturteixeira D.
    09/17/2019 16:57


  • Dawigoy R.
    09/16/2019 01:44

    Precious Bautista maybe ull gonna need diz

  • Masodi O.
    09/15/2019 13:08

    Maungo Busi

  • Kathleen O.
    09/09/2019 15:10

    My daughter asked me to keep my old electrolux vaccuum because when you turned it on it produced a smell (not unpleasant) that reminded her of when her Dad was alive

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