'Language, olfaction, and emotion’ (Asifa Majid - Univ. of York)


Speaker(s): Dr. Asifa Majid
The Center for Cognitive Neuroscience Colloquium Series welcomes Dr. Asifa Majid from the Univ. of York. Her talk is titled: 'Language, olfaction, and emotion'

The importance of our sense of smell has been highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Olfaction plays an important role in a wide range of human behaviors that is often not appreciated. Over the years, olfactory scientists have emphasised its importance in unconscious processes, particularly approach-avoidance behaviors, and have claimed accordingly that olfaction is not amenable to conscious reflection or linguistic encoding. Recent cross-cultural research challenges such claims to show that many languages worldwide, in fact, do show more sophisticated linguistic coding of olfaction than would be expected according to previous accounts. This raises interesting questions about the exact relationship between language, olfaction, and emotion. How does the diverse linguistic encoding of olfaction interact with the affective processes elicited by odors? In this talk, I will present experimental and field studies that untangle how language, perception, and emotion interact in this lesser-explored sensory modality.

Center for Cognitive Neuroscience


Duke Institute for Brain Sciences (DIBS)


Ripperton, Dana