The role of olfaction in human multisensory development

Benoist Schaal and Karine Durand

in Multisensory Development

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199586059
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741470 | DOI:
The role of olfaction in human multisensory development

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Olfaction is an unavoidable and ubiquitous source of perceptual experience from the earliest stages of mammalian development. This chapter summarizes current understanding of how olfaction functions in concert with the other senses during human development, and the various ways early multisensory effects involving the chemical senses operate. This chapter first summarises aspects of current biological and psychological knowledge concerning olfaction in humans in order to provide some functional principles useful to understand the development of chemosensation in the context of multisensory processes. Finally, the available results concerning odour-based intersensory effects are reviewed.

Keywords: olfaction; prenatal development; olfactory development; multisensory development; vision; smell; gustation

Chapter.  19668 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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