Common wisdom holds that smell is the least important sense for our species. But that conclusion may be flawed because we've ignored non-Western cultures. New research on a small tribe in southern Thailand challenges that assumption.
It turns out that the nose is not the only organ capable of sensing and distinguishing odors. But rather than perceiving them as the sense of smell, our lungs react to the presence of noxious chemicals by triggering an automatic response: a cough.
We’ve got categories to describe our perceptions of taste, colors, and sounds. But things aren’t as clear-cut when it comes to our sense of smell. Looking to overcome this surprising limitation, a team of researchers have proposed a list of 10 basic smells.