Have you ever walked into a room and smelled fresh cookies baking? Then, ten minutes later, you don’t smell them anymore? The smell is still there, but your nose has adapted to the smell. This is called olfactory fatigue. It is based on how your nose works.
There are many parts of your nose. The two holes in your nose are called nostrils. Nostrils let air come into your nose allowing you to breathe. The nostrils take turns having air go in each one. For about three hours, people breath through one nostril. Then, three hours later, people breath through the other one. The hairs inside your nose, called cilias, help block out dirt and dust, and let smell go into the nose. The space after your nostril is called the nasal cavity. Air enters your nose and then travels into the nasal cavity. At the top of the nasal cavity, the air hits a group of cells called olfactory nerves. There are 10 million olfactory nerves in an area that is the size of a thumbnail. These cells send messages to your brain about the smell that just came into your nose. People can smell because almost everything has smell molecules. Smell molecules break off from things around a person.The average human can smell about 4,000 different scents. People with a great sense of smell can smell up to 10,000 different scents. After you have smelled the air, it goes down your throat and into the body(Furgang 7).
In the book, Follow Your Nose, the author describes an experiment in which olfactory nerves get tired. In the experiment, the test subject was told to smell a cinnamon-vanilla mixture until the test subject couldn’t smell it anymore. Then, the test subject smelled a cinnamon-water mixture until the test subject couldn’t smell it anymore. Third, the test subje...
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... lobsters are the best smellers in the ocean. They smell by flicking their antenna (Weiss 9)
Olfactory fatigue happens when you have been around a smell for a while and can’t smell it anymore. Smell has lots of different parts to it. It can trigger memories and make food taste better. Some scientists believe that smell is the most important out of the five senses.
Furgang, Kathy. My Nose. New York. The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc., 2001.
Cobb, Vicki. Follow Your Nose. Brookfield, CT. The Millbrook Press, Inc., 2000.
Murphy, Patricia J. Smell (A True Book). Indianapolis. Children's Press, a Division of Scholastic Inc., 2003.
Stoddard & Whitfield. Odor Fatigue. http://www.macalester.edu/academics/psychology/whathap/ubnrp/smell/odor.html, Macalester College. 25 Nov. 2013
Weiss, Ellen. The Sense of Smell (A True Book). Baltimore. Scholastic Inc., 2009
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