Tag Archives: Pleasant

Bring Up Smell- How We Perceive Odours

The nose may be one of the most prominent features of our face, but its role goes way beyond providing extra distinguishing features for facial recognition. Our nose allows us to detect volatile compounds that can be interpreted as odours or malodours. Even though we might seriously wish to never distinguish any nasty odours, like farts, ever again, it’s part of our survival tool kit. So thinking that people affected by anosmia might be better off without it is probably inconsiderate at best and heartless at worst. Yes, it is true that they can’t smell farts, but what else can’t they smell… gas leaks, spoiled food and rotten flesh. This blind spot might not only potentially lead the person to go through unnecessary danger, but it could also be fatal. As for pleasant smells, they are also unnoticed. This implication can be disastrous considering that our smell is very tightly linked to emotions and rewards.

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Bring Up Hearing—Where is this sound coming from

From the moment I wake up, I am submerged with sounds…and noises; unfortunately, I am currently living in Montréal. Noise is an unavoidable consequence when living in a city. I would rather be awoken every morning by the unique sound of songbirds. This necessarily brings me to wonder what makes certain sounds more pleasant than others. We can try answering this question, but first, we must describe how a sound is created and how it is perceived. Then, we must introduce sound as acoustic waves and reveal its characteristics, such as pitch, amplitude and frequency. Lastly, we must not forget to talk about the auditory conditions that some people struggle with on a daily basis. Only after we have gone through all these elements can we seriously attempt to understand what makes a sound appealing…or appalling.

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