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The smell of fear is real…and catching

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We humans may be obsessed with how we smell, but that doesn’t mean that most of us living outside an Axe commercial communicate that way. Scientists from the Utrecht University in the Netherlands, though, say our noses might be listening, even if our conscious mind doesn’t recognize the language.

Using samples of sweat taken from men’s armpits (yuck) while watching a horror movie and clips meant to instill disgust, women were more likely to express similar emotions when unknowingly smelling these odors.

The team noted that,

“These findings are contrary to the commonly accepted assumption that human communication runs exclusively via language or visual channels…”

“Our research suggests that emotional chemo-signals can be potential contributors to emotional contagion in situations involving dense crowds.”

Just to emphasize, the emotions tested were fear and disgust, boys, so leave the Axe at home or, better yet, the store.

Full story at LiveScience.

The sweet scent of science.

Photo credit: Fotolia

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