The Effect of the Olfactory Sense and Handedness on Memory

Ajleeta Sangtani
Southview High School, Sylvania, Ohio

Full manuscript: http://www.kon.org/urc/highschool/sangtani.html

Abstract
The project focused on creating engrams, or neural connections, to effectively retrieve information and find the connection between handedness and memory. The project consisted of seventy-five mixed gender and handedness ninth grade students who studied material for forty-two minutes and took a test two weeks later, each time with a scent or lack thereof, depending on the condition. Results for the olfactory sense part and handedness supported the null hypotheses (R = 0.027, p =.14). Although scores were low overall, results possibly suggested that the scent had a positive effect during study time but not during testing time; further research will need to confirm this.


Introduction People often remember an event better when they have a scent associated with it. For example, the smell of a blueberry pie might remind one person of his/her grandmother, who made blueberry pies. Because humans use their olfactory sense for abstract memory, or events, it is possible that they can use their olfactory sense for semantic memory, or fact recall, as well. The intention of this project was to find out whether the olfactory sense allows for better fact recollection, which could aid students with recall.

Full manuscript: http://www.kon.org/urc/highschool/sangtani.html