Glad you could use some of the research links on the olfaction
question. Maybe after your branding book you could write one on
olfaction. There's some interesting information out there with some
extra tidbits below. I also failed to give you the taurine link on
your previous question.
In case you pursue this topic and for my own jollies, I wanted to
follow up on the l-taurine/leucine amino acid connection, so I went on
a bit of a 'fishing' expedition. Research being done in olfaction
(much still in its infancy) is focused on vertebrates and
invertebrates. Since our sense of smell registers primarily in the
human 'alligator brain,' I looked at fish -- in particular the carp.
As for the reptile or alligator brain, it is concerned with three
Is it something I can eat?
Is it something that can eat me?
Can I mate with it?
"Carp can taste and smell items in the water in a number of ways.
Nostrils, small openings near the eyes of the carp allow water to
enter into a highly sensitive olfactory bulb system that allows them
to sense any substance that has dissolved into that water and
determine whether or not it is a good food source. In addition, when a
carp takes bait, the lining of the mouth contains chemically sensitive
cells that allow the carp to determine whether that food item is a
good or bad. If good, the carp may continue to feed; if bad, carp will
reject the item and may bolt from the area. Anglers call this
'spooking the carp.
Within the mouth, carp are also equipped with several sets of
receptors. Carp receptors are extremely sensitive to taste and smell.
They can distinguish one sort of shellfish from another and different
substances stimulate different receptors.
This sensitivity, coupled with their ability to experience pain and
stress, enables the carp to avoid baits on which they have been caught
previously and released. While carp may not need fish baits, some
baits do stimulate their receptors. Particularly if it contains
elements essential to the carp's diet, such as leucine. At least 3% of
a carp's protein intake must be leucine."
A olfaction connection...perhaps?
Since most of the processing of olfaction happens on an instinctual,
rather than intellectual level, it's interesting to learn more about
what environmental cues entice or 'spook the humans.
Other facts on taurine:
"Women are more apt to be deficient in taurine since the female
hormone estradiol depresses the formation of taurine in the liver.
"L-taurine is known to have a calming or depressant effect on the
central nervous system, and may impair short term memory.
SAD folks have keener sense of smell: (a small but interesting study)
Jacobson's Organ and the Remarkable Sense of Smell:
Thanks for the personal question and the opportunity to do some
further 'nosing' around,