Friday, August 28, 2009

Nostrils Nose Rivalry!

Since the beginning of time Humans have tried to understand more about themselves; Biology, DNA, our anatomy (how it works) and even the forever existing debate of how we got here in the first place just to name a few...

Recently, scientist have discovered that our nose works quite similarly to our competitive eyes and ears that struggle for dominance within our brain. In "How the Nose Copes With Nostril Rivalry", an article in the Science Times by Henry Fountain, researchers Wen Zhou and Denise
Chen suggest that the nostrils do not blend smells but alternate between them in their fight for dominance. In addition, their research shows that smells become habituated to the nose.

What I found interesting about this article was that smells become habituated to the nose rather quickly. While visiting a friend's house, they may have become habituated to their kitty litter quietly sitting in a corner with air freshener adding an extra blast of freshness. To the native nose of the house, the kitty litter may have a weakened scent because it has been habituated; however, the visiting nose alternates the two scents of air freshener and kitty litter while struggling for dominance. This may lead to a blunt and unforgivable question of "WHATS THAT SMELL?!?!"