Seeds of the Future
Microbes at the Gas Pump
Got Milk? How?
Tree Frogs
Frogs and Toads
Not Slippery When Wet
New Monkey Business
Young Ants in the Kitchen
Fear Matters
The case of the headless ant
Island of Hope
Chemistry and Materials
Popping to Perfection
Sugary Survival Skill
The metal detector in your mouth
The solar system's biggest junkyard
Small but WISE
Hubble trouble doubled
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Mini T. rex
An Ancient Spider's Web
Dinosaur Dig
E Learning Jamaica
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Salty, Old and, Perhaps, a Sign of Early Life
Hints of Life in Ancient Lava
Surf Watch
The Down Side of Keeping Clean
Giant snakes invading North America
Inspired by Nature
Finding the Past
Salt and Early Civilization
A Volcano's Deadly Ash
Words of the Distant Past
Skates and Rays
Electric Eel
Food and Nutrition
Food for Life
Symbols from the Stone Age
Chocolate Rules
GSAT English Rules
Finding Subjects and Verbs
Who vs. Whom
Order of Adjectives
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Preparing for the GSAT Exam
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Exam Preparation
GSAT Mathematics
Monkeys Count
Math is a real brain bender
Losing with Heads or Tails
Human Body
The tell-tale bacteria
Spitting Up Blobs to Get Around
What the appendix is good for
Tasmanian Devil
Blue Bear
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
How children learn
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Strange Universe: The Stuff of Darkness
Powering Ball Lightning
Dreams of Floating in Space
Fungus Hunt
Assembling the Tree of Life
Seeds of the Future
Sea Turtles
Gila Monsters
Space and Astronomy
A Moon's Icy Spray
Ringing Saturn
Cool as a Jupiter
Technology and Engineering
Supersuits for Superheroes
Model Plane Flies the Atlantic
Bionic Bacteria
The Parts of Speech
What is a Preposition?
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Adjectives and Adverbs
Seen on the Science Fair Scene
Robots on the Road, Again
Robots on a Rocky Road
Weekend Weather Really Is Different
Recipe for a Hurricane
A Dire Shortage of Water
Add your Article

Making Sense of Scents

The nose knows. Your sense of smell can quickly alert you to freshly baked, chocolate chip cookies, a fragrant flower, or a stinky pair of socks. Now, scientists have a better idea of how the brain makes sense of all these scents. Particular smells appear to turn on particular combinations of brain cells, researchers suggest. When your nose catches a whiff of something, one of 1,000 different types of odor-receiving cells picks it up. These cells send an electrical signal to a region of the brain called the olfactory bulb. From there, the message is transmitted to a smell-specific section of the cortex, the part of the brain that handles thinking and perception. To see what happens when smell messages hit the cortex, a group of scientists studied mouse brains. The researchers first exposed the mice to distinctive scents, such as vanilla, apples, or fish. They then examined thin slices of each mouse's brain, looking for which brain cells had been turned on by each odor. The scientists discovered that aromas activate a number of cells scattered throughout the smell cortex. Each scent produces a similar pattern of active cells in different mice. So, a certain combination of cells tells a mouse that it's smelling vanilla, apples, fish, or any one of thousands of other odors. The investigators also found that when mice smell a stronger scent, it activates more cells over a larger area. And when they looked at how mouse brains light up after the animals smell two scents that are similar, the patterns are similar as well. This points to a sort of logic behind how smells activate the cortex, the researchers suggest. Scientists could use studies like this to create a map of which parts of the brain are activated by different smells. Another smell scientist, however, says that researchers should also do studies on animals that don't live in a lab, but have spent their lives smelling things in the natural world. With more smelling experience, they might show quite different patterns.K. Ramsayer

Making Sense of Scents
Making Sense of Scents

Designed and Powered by™