Alert: the sense of smell is the fastest to react to a threat
Of all the senses, the sense of smell reacts most rapidly to a threatening danger. This is the conclusion reached by scientists from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. The research article was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) .
Biologists conducted an experiment with 19 healthy people who do not smoke. The volunteers were offered six scents that needed to be perceived in a short time. Some of them were pleasant, while others could be uncomfortable. During this time, electroencephalography (EEG) monitored changes in the brain and the speed of response of nerves to pathogens.
Scientists eventually found that the brain processes odors with negative coloration in just half a second. After that, the person is ready to face the danger.
Other senses are significantly inferior in speed to the sense of smell.
At the same time, only 5% of the brain is involved in the processing of odors. Even this is enough for a person to avoid unpleasant odors. Scientists noted that the sense of smell for mammals has always been one of the main means of survival.
Previously, scientists have found a way to quickly restore the sense of smell in COVID-19. After an illness, you can use nasal drops with vitamin A.