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Olfactory Stimulus Enhances Memory Essay

  • Submitted by: xochoco
  • on March 17, 2012
  • Category: Psychology
  • Length: 1,456 words

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Below is an essay on "Olfactory Stimulus Enhances Memory" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Due to the competitive environment in university, everyone strives to do their best in midterms and examinations. Therefore, it is important for us to know what stimulus can help in improving memory in order to save time and energy. According to prior experiment done by Aggleton & Waskett (1999), it was found that information had been recalled better under odor cues if the information was initially presented together with an odor. In addition, this phenomenon lasted for a varying period of time, ranging from months to decades (Aggleton & Waskett (1999)). Also, another experiment done by Akpinar (2005), Turkish students were exposed to lemon aroma while in English class and they outperformed the other group of students that were not exposed to the lemon aroma in class on an English test. From a biological point of view, the olfactory nerve is only separated from the hippocampus by only 3 synapses (Herz & Engen (1996)). This is important as the hippocampus is responsible for the processing of short-term memory (Staubli, Ivy & Lynch (1984)). However, according to Herz & Engen (1996) the olfactory system is the slowest of the nervous system and that detecting olfaction takes ten times longer than detecting visual stimuli. Thus, coding of an odor takes longer than other modalities (Engen, Kuisma & Eimas (1973)). In addition, a visual identification of an object has to be processed before the process of identification of odor can occur.
Therefore, to better understand this concept of olfactory stimulus playing a role in improving short-term memory even though it is the slowest of the nervous system, we decided to examine the effect of olfactory stimulus on short-term memory. In our experiment, we will compare the short-term memory of participants that will be exposed to an odor against other participants that will not be exposed to an odor based off a memorization task. We hypothesized that the presence of an olfactory stimulus would improve ones short-term memory...

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