Smell

Retraining The Brain After Losing The Ability To Smell

Oct 2, 2016
Todd Bookman / WHYY

  In 2012, Chris Kelly caught a cold, which then moved into her sinuses. It was a run-of-the-mill nuisance, until she woke up one morning and realized her condition had become something far more serious.

"I opened my eyes, I went into the bathroom, I uncapped the toothpaste, and was immediately aware that I couldn't smell anything," says Kelly, who was born in Maine and now lives in the United Kingdom.

This wasn't a stuffy nose. This was like the on/off switch had been flipped.

Flickr user t b

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have unraveled one of the longstanding mysteries of how our sense of smell works.

Superfantastic

Our sense of smell can tell us what’s for dinner when we walk in the front door, or bring us back to our fondest memories of childhood.

But how much do we know about the nose? Unfortunately, not enough.