January 8, 1898


JAMA. 1898;XXX(2):99-100. doi:10.1001/jama.1898.02440540047007

It is a fact of some interest that while the special senses of vision and hearing have furnished some of the most striking acquisitions of modern physiology, the sense of smell has been left comparatively unstudied by investigators. The reason for this is not difficult to surmise; its organ has no mechanical peripheral apparatus that can bring its study into the domain of physics, nor do the variations of olfaction also follow physical laws like those of color or tone. The problems of its study fall therefore more into the domain of pure physiologic psychology, and the practical difficulties have been so great that few have attempted their solution. The close associations of the sense of smell with those of taste and general sensation, its easy sophistication and common, and indeed almost universal, impairment among civilized people, have added to the embarrassment and aided to discourage physiologic experimentation in this

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