The Potential Impacts of Olfactory Loss on Our Lives under Different Situations

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1. Introduction For thousands of years, people tend to take our sense of smell as granted. We name the patients who lose vision as the blind, lose audition as the deaf, lose olfactory, albeit less known, as anosmia. Anosmia is defined as the dysfunction of olfactory, including partially disabled and completely disabled. It is sometimes trivial and common yet sometimes devastating due to its complicated relationship with the sense of taste and our brain especially the limbic system. This paper will show you a glance at the potential effects brought by the loss of olfactory via explaining the process of perceiving smell and subsequently analyzing the corresponding consequences in the aspects of daily lives, food intake and sexual behaviors. 2. The general principle of the sense of smell Gazzaniga, Heatherton and Halpern (2011) described the whole process of the olfactory perception as follow. It begins with the reaction between the odorant molecules and the smell receptors embedded in the olfactory epithelium. Almost simultaneously, the information of the odorants will be transmitted to the olfactory bulb, which is the bridge between nose and the brain. Eventually, the information will arrive at the cortex and amygdala via olfactory nerves. It is remarkable that the perception of olfactory is the only sense that passes the limbic system among the five senses of human being (Gazzaniga et al. 2011). Therefore, olfactory is linked tightly with bunch of human behaviors, indicating a complete shift on the condition that someone loses his or her sense of smells. 3. Potential impacts 3.1 Difficulties in lives and work Statistic shows a wide scale of difficulties complained by anosmia patients in their lives and work (Temmel et al.... ... middle of paper ... .... doi: 10.1111/j.1749-4486.2008.01819.x Herz, R. S., & Inzlicht, M. (2002). Sex differences in response to physical and social factors involved in human mate selection: The importance of smell for women. Evolution and Human Behavior, 23(5), 359-364. Novakova, L., Bojanowski, V., Havlíček, J., & Croy, I. (2012). Differential Patterns of Food Appreciation during Consumption of a Simple Food in Congenitally Anosmic Individuals: An Explorative Study. Plos ONE, 7(4), 1-4. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0033921 Temmel, A. F., Quint, C., Schickinger-Fischer, B., Klimek, L., Stoller, E., & Hummel, T. (2002). Characteristics of olfactory disorders in relation to major causes of olfactory loss. Archives of Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery,128(6), 635. Toller, S. V. (1999). Assessing the impact of anosmia: review of a questionnaire's findings. Chemical senses, 24(6), 705-712.

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