Our Unique Sense of Smell: An Olfactory Research Program


OUSOS is a research program investigating olfaction, our evolutionarily oldest sensory system. The program aims to increase understanding of how the sense of smell is cognitively processed by investigating how the mind processes olfaction through six research projects.

The program is rooted in cognitive psychology. Yet, it nicely relates to current developments in game design. Simon Niedenthal is at the forefront of using the sense of smell in game design. The fourth project, Expanding the world of smell through odor game interventions, develops and tests “brain games” that engage and strengthen the sense of smell in order to impact food-related behaviors like picky eating, flavor appreciation, and food cravings.

The six-year program began in February 2015 and will conclude in February 2021. The project is headquartered at the Gösta Ekman Laboratory at Stockholm University, with research also conducted at Umeå University (Sweden). The research program is funded by a $3.7 million grant from the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences (Riksbankens Jubeliumsfond). This is one of the largest grants in the history of Swedish psychology.

You can learn more about the project on www.humanolfaction.org

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