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  • Cited by 5
  • Print publication year: 2006
  • Online publication date: August 2009

4 - Olfaction and Memory

from Section I - Neurology, Neurophysiology and Neuropsychology: Olfactory Clues to Brain Development and Disorder

Summary

This chapter analyzes the nature of olfactory memory in an attempt to understand its uniqueness and richness. It summarises neurobiological underpinnings of olfactory memory before discussing specific issues pertaining to components of the olfactory memory system. The chapter also presents a discussion of the nature of olfactory memory encoding and retrieval in relation to semantic processes and an assessment of the relationship between emotion and olfactory memories. The memory studies probe explicit memory for odours. However, olfaction plays an important role in the implicit and unconscious component of memory. The olfactory memory system may rely upon cross-modal integration, and incongruent cues could attenuate olfactory memory retrieval. Olfactory perceptual qualities, such as hedonics and familiarity, are autonomic in nature and influence olfactory stimulus encoding. The context in which olfactory stimuli are encoded is likely to influence olfactory memory retrieval.
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