A study showing that words can also change the perception of smell. Multisensory perception and the power of words.

【Turns out that the sense of smell can be misled and altered by “words”.】


・A new study from the University of Tokyo confirms that subjective smell perception changes when given different word labeling, even when smelling the same odor.

・In an experiment in which participants were made to smell the same odor, they reported that when the same labeling was given, the smells were very similar to each other, but when different labeling was given, they reported that although the smells were the same, they were perceived as smelling very differently.

・The results of the study also showed that the primary olfactory cortex functions in conjunction with brain regions involved in processing words and memory when influenced by word labeling (the influence of words on the function of the primary olfactory cortex was confirmed).



The above is a quote from the article






Multisensory Perception and the Power of Language


Earlier, I wrote the following blog



【High-pitched music makes food taste sweeter.】

【Does music change our sense of taste? A Theory of Human Sensory Correlates】

【Yellow increases acidity, pink increases saltiness, and green decreases sweetness. Container Color and Taste Research Results】


When one sense influences other senses, it is called “multisensory perception”.


In this study, too, the same smell was supposed to be the same, but when different labels were applied, it was perceived as a different smell, so it can be called multisensory perception in that the sense of sight affected the sense of smell.


As I have written many times in my blog, there are various patterns of multisensory perception, and I am sure you can imagine them.


But this time, I had another thought,

The power of word labeling is still strong.



In this study,

In this study, the labeling phenomenon (effect) was caused by putting word labels on the containers (visually), but it seems that the labeling phenomenon can be caused by saying “This is a smell of 00” (by hearing),

However, it is also possible to induce the labeling phenomenon by saying “this is the smell of 00” in advance (auditory).

In other words,

Both visual and auditory words have power as words and have no small influence on our senses (our senses are absorbed toward the words).


If so,

In today’s word-rich world, our senses may be constantly shaken.

When you think about it,


Be aware of what words you are exposed to in your daily life,


And to be aware of whether or not our senses are also being taken in strange directions by strange words,

These things may be quite important for us.


The above study has made me think that I am overreacting again.

See you then


Today’s story might be called a story about the power of words, or the spirit of speech.
If someone says, “This is a special ingredient from 00,” it is often the case that the food tastes better just by saying that. Gourmets are sometimes ridiculed as “eating information” rather than food, but I think this can be put another way: they are “eating words”.




You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *