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Still Waters

Humans Smell Fear, and It's Contagious

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Humans can smell fear and disgust, and the emotions are contagious, according to a new study.

The findings, published Nov. 5 in the journal Psychological Science, suggest that humans communicate via smell just like other animals.

"These findings are contrary to the commonly accepted assumption that human communication runs exclusively via language or visual channels," write Gün Semin and colleagues from Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

http://www.livescien...smell-fear.html

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my face is screwed up just at the thought of smelling the test tubes, and my eyes are opened wide that they could find volunteers to do it.

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I swear I saw this exact thing on Mythbusters a couple of weeks ago. They had a lady on there smelling 20 or 30 jars of sweat.

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Especially if the fear is running down the inside of their legs.

lol

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I thought my muffins were burning....

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We all know what fear smells like

smiley4388.gif

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The actual psychology of the situation is that, being able to smell fear, and being conscious of smelling fear, are two virtually mutually exclusive things.

Doing the math, then, you become conscious of doing nothing of the sort while (at the same time as) you are subconsciously interpreting the smell into the fear.

(ASIDE: Conscious is the animal having become subconscious, in order to respect authority's insistance on Privacy Of Thought; upon which authority is founded: "If you knew me you would never obey me!"

To get obedience people must produce an aversion by classic conditioning like the Little Albert Experiment which you can get a synopsis ---copy/paste--- of from WIKI.

This conditioned aversion is mostly accomplished by just allowing an infant to wail; usually eventually telling him, as the toddler he later becomes, that he enver did any such thing: hence he becomes conscious of never having suffered any such thing, and thus subconscious of the agony of mother's neglect.)

RESUME from above the ASIDE: That means you feel the fear but can't locate it, and without a location it becomes your very own fear.

"Contagion!" as per original post.

So your conscious takes an animal event, where you discover fear like a dog does, and translates it into your fear. Which is how we get Privacy Of Thought, something people treasure at their own peril!

for advanced Behavioral Science studies, follow me at mforums.org

Edited by behavioralist

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I have a very good sense of smell, so the story makes sense to me. That said, I think we can sense fear through other than olfactory sense. Obviously, the body language thing, however that's defined.

So too, other members of the animal kingdom sense fear, both ways it seems.

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The actual psychology of the situation is that, being able to smell fear, and being conscious of smelling fear, are two virtually mutually exclusive things.

I have anosmia .... absolutely no sense of smell at all; where does that leave me? :(

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Fear is a mechanism of the primative cortex, our fight or flight response. So it ties into our animal insticnts, which are opperated by our brainstem.

We have 12 cranial nerves and all but 2 originate from the brainstem. Smell is achieved via the olfactory nerve which does NOT connect to the brainstem.

However, the olfactory bulb also receives "top-down" information from such brain areas as the amygdala, neocortex, hippocampus, locus coeruleus, and substantia nigra. With this in mind, its potential functions can be placed into four non-exclusive categories:

  • discriminating among odors
  • enhancing sensitivity of odor detection
  • filtering out many background odors to enhance the transmission of a few select odors
  • permitting higher brain areas involved in arousal and attention to modify the detection or the discrimination of odors

This allows for many differnt ways this information can be routed and used. So why not be able to route it through our fight/flight center where the recpectors may lye dorminat from our T-Rex days.

Also, if you ever get to know a veteran that has taken life's in a war, or a convited murder. They will all tell you that they can smell fear and weakness.

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I have anosmia .... absolutely no sense of smell at all; where does that leave me? :(

If you were born with it you have compensatory sensitivity in other senses. If it's a health-problem you willingly lack disciplines, preferring to trust those who exploit your problems.

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Fear is a mechanism of the primative cortex, our fight or flight response. So it ties into our animal insticnts, which are opperated by our brainstem.

We have 12 cranial nerves and all but 2 originate from the brainstem. Smell is achieved via the olfactory nerve which does NOT connect to the brainstem.

However, the olfactory bulb also receives "top-down" information from such brain areas as the amygdala, neocortex, hippocampus, locus coeruleus, and substantia nigra. With this in mind, its potential functions can be placed into four non-exclusive categories:

  • discriminating among odors
  • enhancing sensitivity of odor detection
  • filtering out many background odors to enhance the transmission of a few select odors
  • permitting higher brain areas involved in arousal and attention to modify the detection or the discrimination of odors

This allows for many differnt ways this information can be routed and used. So why not be able to route it through our fight/flight center where the recpectors may lye dorminat from our T-Rex days.

Also, if you ever get to know a veteran that has taken life's in a war, or a convited murder. They will all tell you that they can smell fear and weakness.

All of that refers to what the conscious is disinterested in, because the conscious "Gets what you came for!", and that has nothing to do with perception, but is all about gauging how people react to suggested stimuli; to histrionic ability.

Conscious measures how other people's conditioned responses respond. It's a math-game. It leaves the rest of your brain to rot.

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If it's a health-problem you willingly lack disciplines, preferring to trust those who exploit your problems.

Can you explain this further, please ...... it makes no sense to me(too cryptic!).

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We probably have a lot of senses that we don't know about, look at all of them that kick in when you think something is going on behind your back.

I have to wonder if body language don't play a part in it too.

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Can you explain this further, please ...... it makes no sense to me(too cryptic!).

Disciplines have to be acquired against the grain of obedience. It is obedient to need the dentist, for example, and so to eat sugar and other fast carbohydrates as well as acids.

You get the pain, or you do the checkups and believe the guy when he says your molars need to be hollowed out; you're being a slave to the obscenity of modern economics...

---a rule of which is "never solve a problem in a way that does not create new and costlier problems".

As this slave, you would rather buy a kidney-machine than fast for a few months, because a kindney-machine makes people richer, while fasting makes everyone but yourself poorer.

Self-education, the antithesis of slave to the economy, is no doubt a congenital trait, although if you take it to the point of effective self-therapy you transcend your traits.

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I think detecting fear, in whatever way you label, is instinctive. You see another human running in fear and you will be prompted to do as well. (unless it is from you they are running). It is a basic survival reaction and we have needed it.

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Something went wrong with the editor here. Go to next.

Edited by behavioralist

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I think detecting fear, in whatever way you label, is instinctive. You see another human running in fear and you will be prompted to do as well. (unless it is from you they are running). It is a basic survival reaction and we have needed it.

The conscious is where we produce the other person's privacy of thought, as accomodating his deception process (an offshoot of the obedience-habit);

and so it is also where we have ideas about instincts rather than having these instincts. Instincts would preclude the other person's privacy of thought, gains, smoke-screens and intent.

To describe fear as "The instinctive awareness of proceeding into trouble!" (as fear felt personally), so that as soon as any hint of it arrives one may minimize the damage and the repercussions thereof by proceeding no further;

and as "The awareness of another person or creature having proceeded into trouble!" (as felt impersonally, the way a dog usually feels it because it has a "professional interest" in who is in trouble, who is about to have his status reduced to fresh meat),

makes no sense to the conscious (the conditioning), because its imperative or prime directive is to obediently accomodate every other person's intent to deceive us (to go for the master's rewards, in other words, and avoid the wrath of his dissembled congenital ineptitude).

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