Jacobson's Organ: And the Remarkable Nature of Smell (Penguin Press Science)

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9780140284478: Jacobson's Organ: And the Remarkable Nature of Smell (Penguin Press Science)

Smell is our most seductive and provocative sense, invading every domain of our lives. We can identify our relatives by smell alone, detect the availability of a potential mate, sniff out danger and distinguish between good and bad food just with our noses. Nothing is more memorable than a smell. so why do we persist in dismissing the nose as a blunt instrument? In this book Lyall Watson rescues our most unappreciated sense from obscurity. He brings to light new evidence concerning Jacobson's organ: an anatomical feature discovered high in the nose in 1811 and dismissed for centuries as a vestigial ghost. Yet recent research has shown Jacobson's organ to be the phenomenal mechanism necessary for operating a true "sixth sense", feeding the area of the brain that affects our awareness, emotional states and sexual behaviour. With it, we have access to a world we thought we had lost. Following the seven classes of smell devised by the pioneering botanist Carolus Linnaeus in his "Odores Medicamentorum", Watson examines the diverse roles of smell and pheromones in human beings, plants and animals. He reveals the curious ways in which trees communicate their distress, the tricks truffles use to attract the attention of passing pigs, the olfactory abilities of feral children, the unerring capability of certain species to find their way home, the bond we have with our offsprings, the psychosexual effects of perfume, and the link between smell and memory formation.

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