Memory for Odors
Edited by Frank R. Schab, Robert G. Crowder
Psychology Press – 1995 – 200 pages
The power of odors to unlock human memory is celebrated in literature and anecdote, but poorly documented by science. Odors -- perhaps more than other stimuli -- are widely believed to evoke vivid and complex past experiences easily. Yet in contrast to the frequency with which odors are thought to evoke memories of the past, scientific evidence is thus far scant.
For years, voluminous data have been collected on odor sensitivity, whereas relatively few studies exist on memory for odors per se. Moreover, the memory data that do exist are thus far only poorly integrated with the most modern attitudes on human memory. The major goal of this volume is to point the way toward a better state of affairs, one in which the study of odor memory is legitimatized as a proper specialization and is informed by the most promising ideas in the mainstream study of memory. This volume explores three tendencies in modern memory theory that have not yet sufficiently penetrated the odor-memory work: memory coding, memory and knowledge, and implicit and explicit memory.
"This collection of essays, although small in size, seems big in potential import. New horizons have benn proposed and old problems have been classified. A book well worth nosing around in by any cognitive scientist."
Schab and Crowder successfully convince the reader of the importance of studying odor memory. The book is filled with stimulating questions for future research, and it would be an ideal book for graduate students looking for ideas for research projects.
Contents: R.G. Crowder, F.R. Schab, Introduction. F.R. Schab, R.G. Crowder, Odor Recognition Memory. R.A. de Wijk, F.R. Schab, W.S. Cain, Odor Identification. R.G. Mair, L.M. Harrison, D.L. Flint, The Neuropsychology of Odor Memory. F.R. Schab, W.S. Cain, Implicit Measures of Odor Memory. R.G. Crowder, F.R. Schab, Imagery for Odors. C. Murphy, Age-Associated Differences in Memory for Odors. S.F. Davis, H.W. Ludvigson, Odor Memory in Nonhumans. R.S. Herz, E. Eich, Commentary and Envoi.