Have you ever noticed how certain scents trigger memories? Things you may not have thought of in years are suddenly are brought to mind with the association of a particular scent. Science has actually proven a stronger link between memory scents and the sense of smell over the other senses like touch and hearing.
There’s a reason for this occurrence, and it has to do with the way our brains are wired. Read on to learn why there’s such a strong link between scents and memory recall and what it may mean for you.
How Memory Scents Work
Your brain processes scent in a very specific way. That’s why these odor-evoked autobiographical memories are so strong. The olfactory bulb is the region of your brain that analyzes scent. It is connected to both the amygdala and the hippocampus.
These areas are where memory and emotion are processed. It’s thought that’s why scents trigger memories so intensely over other senses which do not have to pass so closely through these regions as they are processed.
Scents For Memory
There are some commonalities between memories that seem to be triggered by scent. These are usually older ones from an earlier time in your life or are associated with an especially meaningful event, good or bad.
A great deal goes into receiving a scent, and this process occurs throughout a number of brain regions. In addition, there are a ton of receptors throughout your body that are associated with smell, over 1000 of them. That’s significant when you compare it to the only four receptors for both sight and touch.
That’s why we’re so highly sensitive to recognizing various scents. These factors combined tell the tale of why scent has such a powerful connection to memory.
How to Boost Your Sense of Smell
If you’d like to enhance your connection between scents and memory, you may wish to work on improving your sense of smell. Some of us simply don’t smell as efficiently as we once did or may have an issue causing our sniffer to be less effective.
Deficiencies in the mineral zinc have been shown to affect both taste and smell. You can get this mineral by eating meat, cheese, yogurt, oysters and wild-caught fish. Increased exercise can also enhance your sense of smell.
As can practicing to differentiate between various kinds of scents. The more you use your nose, the better it will function. Taking time to notice the smells around you will also benefit you.
Now that you know about memory scents and how scents can affect your memory recall, you can find ways to enhance this connection.