Citrus like smells found to effect visual memory of orange colour

A new study from Japan reveals odours can influence working visual memories associated with colour

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Our senses have a powerful influence over how we behave or respond to different experiences, with a fragrance evoking particular feelings or memories of a past event. A research team led by Kaori Tamura based at Kyushu University, Japan, have shown for the first time that citrus fragrance can disrupt visual memories associated with orange colour. Although previous studies have reported how individuals perceive odour is personal because of their genetic makeup and cultural background, the results of this research experiment showed citrus like odours can disrupt memories associated with orange colour. The interesting finding leaves the way open for future studies to investigate the effects of different fragrances on other colour related memories.

The research article Olfactory modulation of colour working memory: How does citrus-like smell influence the memory of orange colour? is freely available in the journal PLoS ONE. 

Gabrielle Ahern

Managing Editor, npj Science of Learning Community

I am based in Queensland, Australia, and have an interesting portfolio of skills, experience and qualifications in science research and content creation.