“Neuroscience of chemosensation”
Welcome to the website of the Research Group
“Neuroscience of chemosensation”
Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology, Uniklinik RWTH Aachen
Our research is directed at human olfactory behavior and the processes mediating olfactory perception in the human brain. We are especially interested in the interaction of the sense of smell with other sensory systems. Within this scope we examine the neural correlates underlying the perception of bimodal odorants stimulating the olfactory as well as the intranasal trigeminal system. We are also using multimodal stimulation to study multimodal integration both on a perceptual as well as on a cognitive processing level. The aim of our research is to understand how the different senses interact to form a unique percept. We are exploring traditional odors as well as odors that are used as chemosensory signals to communicate e.g. emotional status of a human being. We use behavioral and psychophysiological measures as well as functional imaging methods (EEG/ERP, fMRI).
Our work contributes to a better understanding of the perception and cortical processing of chemosensory stimuli.
We are affiliated with the Clinic for Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology of the University Hospital Aachen and the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV in Freising.
Our research is funded by the following institutions. We gratefully thank those institutions for their support:
"You smell dangerous: communicating aggression through sense of smell and body odor"
During the search of scents of anger and aggression in human beings, several English idioms come to mind relating aggression to odors: 'To be incensed' describes somebody feeling angry with the related meaning of the word incense, a substance that produces a strong smell when burned.
"Can you SMELL if someone is angry? Chemical signals in sweat may warn us when a person is feeling aggressive"
Many animals are thought to be able to smell fear on humans, but it seems we can sniff out whether other people are spoiling for a fight.
Researchers have found odours in human sweat may alert us if someone is feeling angry or aggressive, helping to put them on alert for potential violence.
"Myth or Science: The Secrets of Our Senses"
In Germany, Gardy explores whether humans, like members of the animal kingdom, can actually smell danger. At University Hospital in Aachen, she witnesses a fascinating experiment that delves deep into our brain to find out if our sense of smell can be triggered by subliminal scents created during an aggressive activity like boxing. ...
Oxford University Press blog
Daily Mail Online
Rodriguez-Raecke R, Yang H, Brünner YF, Freiherr J (2016). Intranasal insulin boosts gustatory sensitivity. J Neuroendocrinology (in press) | doi: 10.1111/jne.12449
Brünner YF, Rodriguez-Raecke R, Mutic S, Benedict C, Freiherr J (2016). Neural correlates of olfactory and visual memory performance in 3D-simulated mazes after intranasal insulin application. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory 134 Pt B: 256-63 | doi: 10.1016/j.nlm.2016.07.027.
Hoffmann-Hensel SM, Freiherr J (2016) Intramodal olfactory priming of positive and negative odors in humans using respiration-triggered olfactory stimulation (RETROS). Chem Senses 41 (7): 567-578 | doi: 10.1093/chemse/bjw060 and 10.1093/chemse/bjw087.