Guide Consciousness, Theatre, Literature and the Arts 2011

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His research focuses on the relationship between theatre and consciousness.

He serves as editor of the journal online and the book series Rodopi Consciousness, Literature and the Arts, and has convened the bi-annual Consciousness, Theatre, Literature and the Arts conferences since Health Sciences. Life Sciences.

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Physical Sciences. Social Sciences. Subscribe to our newsletter. Register Log in My Order 0 Wishlist 0. You have no items in your order. Book Description The essays collected in this volume were initially presented at the Fourth International Conference on Consciousness, Theatre, Literature and the Arts, held at the University of Lincoln, May 28—30, White and Treisman posited that olfactory memory occurs because individuals assign verbal meanings to olfactory stimuli.

Olfaction has often been implicated in learning processes, specifically in research done with animals. This suggests that there is in fact a mechanism for odour memory separate from other kinds of memory. Much research has found connections between the structures of the olfactory system and the structures involved in memory in the modern human species.

There have also been associations made between the two systems through their evolutionary histories. This notion that the limbic system evolved from the olfactory system could be the key to any smell-memory connection. A link has also been made between the presence of stem cells in both the olfactory and memory systems. The narrator is overwhelmed by the odour of a Madeleine biscuit dipped in linden-blossom tea.

This scents causes a flood of memories concerning a long-forgotten childhood event. In Proustian memories the cue is a smell. One of the most distinctive properties of odour-evoked memories is the powerful emotion that often accompanies them. Olfaction and emotion are intimately connected by the structures of the limbic system.

In fact the limbic system is believed to have evolved originally as a system for the sophisticated analysis of olfactory input. Herz has demonstrated the primacy of feeling in her scientific experiments.

Along with psychologist John Schooler of the University of Pittsburgh, Herz claims to have produced the first unequivocal demonstration that naturalistic memories evoked by odours are more emotional than memories evoked by other cues. The study compared odours and visual cues for five items as cues for autobiographical memories. The results supported that Proustian memories are distinctly emotionally charged.

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The emotionality of odour-evoked memories may arise from the unique neural connections that exist between the olfactory areas of the central nervous system and the amygdala-hippocampal complex of the limbic system responsible for emotion. These direct connections may distinguish odour memories cues from other sensory memory cues because no other sensory system has such intense contact with the neural substrates of emotion and memory. Neuroimaging studies have also shed come insight on the significant neural pathways involved in the Proust phenomenon.

Neurological studies have shown that odour assessments are processed primarily in the right hemisphere of the brain, which is also the part of the brain for the most part associated with emotion.

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Neuroimaging studies have also revealed that encoding and retrieval of memories occur in different parts of the brain. Memories are stored in the left dorsal prefrontal cortex but they are retrieved in the right prefrontal cortex, the hemisphere of the brain most heavily associated with odour identification and emotion. Perhaps the most convincing evidence that olfaction, memory and emotion are intimately linked is illustrated by the loss of the sense of smell.


She states that cases of coloured taste have been less well described in the literature, though attributes this not to the frequency with which this variant occurs, but to the failure of those with it to notice that tastes or smells evoke colours. This may or may not be true, but it is our experience that those with, say, coloured smell are very aware of the colour of the odiferous object, as well as the colour percept elicited by the smell. Harrison makes a useful distinction to devise typologies of synaethetic experiences: synaesthesia induced could be sensational and imaginal.

Essentially the issue is whether simply tasting or smelling a substance that elicits colour is both necessary and sufficient to elicit the synaesthesic experience. However, if it is necessary for the synaesthete to conjour up the colour in an effortful fashion, then the perception might best be described as imaginal.

Harrison suggests that a definition of terms is helpful in discussing these issues and so he proposes two different terms to be used to refer to these different scenarios. Odour memory: review and analysis. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review 3: n3,pp. A comparison of the encoding of content and order in olfactory memory and in memory for visually presented verbal materials.

British Journal of Psychology n3 Learning occurred relatively quickly: within only one or two exposures to this particular combination of odour and tastant. This study suggests, then, that the brain may be equipped with a mechanism for olfactory memory.

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Slotnick provides further evidence for olfactory learning in rats. He shows that rats have actually achieved errorless performance in olfactory learning tasks. In W. Thomas Tomlinson Restriction of early exploratory forays effects specific aspects of spatial processing in weanling hamsters.

Eric Hetzler

Developmental Psychobiology n4 The fact that animals often employ the olfactory sense to locate stored food provides further support for the existence of an olfactory memory of sorts. Stephen B. Vander Wall [5] showed that yellow pine chipmunks found caches stored food using their olfactory sense. However, in the study, olfaction only helped chipmunks localise moist seeds and not dry seeds.

Dr Simon Grennan

Olfaction therefore plays a part in an integrated system for recovering caches and finding hidden food. Another way in which animals use olfaction is identifying their young. Gary F. Mc Cracken did a study of Mexican free-tailed bats which examined nursing behavior of mother-pup pairs[5].