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Conscious Cogn. 2011 Dec;20(4):1887-98. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2011.05.011. Epub 2011 Jun 8.

Olfactory illusions: where are they?

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Macquarie University, Sydney NSW 2109, Australia. dick.stevenson@mq.edu.au

Abstract

It has been suggested that there maybe no olfactory illusions. This manuscript examines this claim and argues that it arises because olfactory illusions are not typically accompanied by an awareness of their illusory nature. To demonstrate that olfactory illusions do occur, the relevant empirical literature is reviewed, by examining instances of where the same stimulus results in different percepts, and of where different stimuli result in the same percept. The final part of the manuscript evaluates the evidence favoring the existence of olfactory illusions, and then examines why they may not typically be accompanied by awareness. Three contributory mechanisms are discussed, relating to difficulty of verification and paucity of olfactory knowledge, the role of change blindness, and restricted access consciousness in this sense.

PMID:
21652222
DOI:
10.1016/j.concog.2011.05.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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