Monday, December 17, 2012Publications

The special brain of perfumers

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Areas (those linked to olfaction) that are more developed, and which enlarge with expertise … Researchers investigated the brains of professional perfumers and of student perfumers. They have found that the gray-matter of "noses" (the "nez", in French), the professionals who designed perfumes, is much different than the untrained people’s. Another proof of the incredible ability of our brains to adapt to the needs …

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CNRS Press release

The French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS; National Centre of Scientific Research) has released a communiqué. Brain areas linked to olfaction are more developed in professional perfumers than in the average person. Further, the longer their expertise, the more gray-matter there is in their olfactory areas.
This new example of the impressive plasticity of the human brain has been released by researchers from the CNRS and from the French INSERM (Institut National de la Santé et de Recherche médicale; National Institute on Health and for Medical Research), a team known as Codage et mémoire olfactive (Coding and olfactory memory), based in Lyon (France), in the Centre of Neurosciences (CNRS/Inserm/Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1/Université Jean Monnet Saint-Etienne).
These results, thanks to anatomical MRI performed on professional and student perfumers, and on untrained control persons, show that training counterbalance the diminishing volume of the gray matter in the olfactory areas when ageing, as seen as the public at large. This work is published in the 12 December issue of NeuroImage.

In previous works, these same researchers have demonstrated that, thanks to their training, perfumers get the ability to imagine a fragrance, and to "smell" it in their …

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