Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe
Then the researchers gave some of the smell-testers a small shock from electrodes attached to the leg whenever they were exposed to one of the scents. The brain scanner showed that the brain area that process and perceives smells changed its activity pattern as a result of the shocks. Once the conditioning was finished, the subjects who had received shocks were much better at distinguishing the two similar odors, the report states.
"These subjects have moved to a level of sensory processing that we normally don't have. That's pretty unheard of," said David Zald, an associate professor of psychology and psychiatry at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.
I pass this along just in case you wander into Alinea some day and see electrodes on the chairs.