A Sense of Stress? The Nose Knows

Believe it or not, women have twice as many neurons related to smell as men do. That means they have a stronger sense of smell. Researchers at University of British Columbia studied how smelling their partner’s previously-worn shirt impacted cortisol levels of women in stressful situations. They found that a partner’s scent lowered stress levels as measured by cortisol and self-report. What’s the real-world benefit to learning this? To keep stress in check, women who travel for work may want to bring along something their partner has recently worn.

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 114(1), 1-9.

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