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Perception. 2008;37(12):1886-9.

Odours grab his hand but not hers.

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Department of General Psychology, University of Padua, Padua, Italy.


Gender is important for the determination of olfactory abilities. Previous reports on gender differences in human odour perception claimed that the sensitivity and discrimination ability of females for odours is superior to that of males. Evolutionary theories, however, open up the possibility of an interesting dissociation between females and males in terms of odour processing: there is an advantage for women for the perceptual aspects of olfactory stimuli and an advantage for men when translating perceptual olfactory information into action. In line with this hypothesis our observations suggest that encoding odours has the ability to guide the movement of males but not that of females.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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