Perhaps you feel excited when you think about chocolate. Perhaps you feel really excited. No matter how you feel, though, your brain calms down with every whiff of chocolate.
British psychologist Neil Martin from Middlesex University in Enfield found this dichotomy of feels and thoughts in 1996. He sat 60 people down in a “low-odour room,” the New Scientist writes, and gave them goggles and headphones. Then he started sending over the smells. While they sniffed, he measured their brain waves with an electroencephalography machine, or an EEG.
Half of the people received fake smells. The other half received real smells. Some got chocolate and coffee, others got rotting pork. In the people who smelled chocolate, theta waves, the waves associated with attention, were depressed. In other words, people get so focused on the chocolate smell that everything else takes a back seat and their brain chills out.
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BRB, heading to the chocolate shop.