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(FANTASM)ODORIFIQUE ENVIRONNEMENT. L'influence de la mémoire olfactive sur notre perception de la réalité



Le paysage olfactif, expression mentale d'une sensations vécue suite à une expérience dans l'environnement, a un impact important sur notre définition de la réalité. Distinct de l'ambiance olfactive qui est essentiellement la mer odorante dans laquelle nous baignons, le paysage olfactif (smellscape), infusé de la subjectivité de l'observeur, est un univers composé de multiples paysages mnémiques en constante mutation, témoignant des harmonies intangibles de l'ambiance olfactive. Les odeurs sont autant de possibilités de restructurer le réel de l'individu. Entre les mains d'un concepteur habile elles peuvent devenir un outil d’intervention stratégique. La problématique est : de quelles façons un architecte, un designer de l'environnement ou un urbaniste peut s'y prendre pour composer avec la dynamique des odeurs? C'est déjà tout un défi de tenir compte de la diversité humaine lors de la conception d'un espace ou d'un bâtiment. L'âge, les capacités physiques, l'acuité sensorielle, les habiletés mentales, de même que la finesse des rouages mémoriels sont bien évidemment des facteurs qui varient d’un individu à un autre. Néanmoins, il est grand temps que les designers de l'environnement de tout acabit prennent d'assaut le théâtre du paysage olfactif.
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Although vision is the de facto model system of consciousness research, studying olfactory consciousness has its own advantages , as this collection of articles emphatically demonstrates. One advantage of olfaction is its computational and phenomenologi-cal simplicity, which facilitates the identification of basic principles. Other researchers study olfactory consciousness not because of its simplicity, but because of its unique features. Together, olfaction's simplicity and its distinctiveness make it an ideal system for testing theories of consciousness. In this research topic, the results of recent research into olfactory consciousness are presented.
Our perception of the world builds upon dynamic inputs from multiple senses with different temporal resolutions, and is threaded with the passing of subjective time. How time is extracted from multisensory inputs is scantly known. Utilizing psychophysical testing and electroencephalography, we show in healthy human adults that odors modulate object visibility around critical flicker-fusion frequency (CFF)-the limit at which chromatic flickers become perceived as a stable color-and effectively alter CFF in a congruency-based manner, despite that they afford no clear environmental temporal information. The behavioral gain produced by a congruent relative to an incongruent odor is accompanied by elevated neural oscillatory power around the object's flicker frequency in the right temporal region ~150-300 ms after object onset, and is not mediated by visual awareness. In parallel, odors bias the subjective duration of visual objects without affecting one's temporal sensitivity. These findings point to a neuronal network in the right temporal cortex that executes flexible temporal filtering of upstream visual inputs based on olfactory information. Moreover, they collectively indicate that the very process of sensory integration at the stage of object processing twists time perception, hence casting new insights into the neural timing of multisensory events.
This Opinion article considers the implications for functional anatomy of how we represent temporal structure in our exchanges with the world. It offers a theoretical treatment that tries to make sense of the architectural principles seen in mammalian brains. Specifically, it considers a factorisation between representations of temporal succession and representations of content or, heuristically, a segregation into when and what. This segregation may explain the central role of the hippocampus in neuronal hierarchies while providing a tentative explanation for recent observations of how ordinal sequences are encoded. The implications for neuroanatomy and physiology may have something important to say about how self-organised cell assembly sequences enable the brain to exhibit purposeful behaviour that transcends the here and now.
Smell and taste are our most misunderstood senses. Given a choice between losing our sense of smell and taste, or our senses of sight and hearing, most people nominate the former, rather than the latter. Yet our sense of smell and taste has the power to stir up memories, alter our mood and even influence our behaviour. In The Neuropsychology of Smell and Taste, Neil Martin provides a comprehensive, critical analysis of the role of the brain in gustation and olfaction. In his accessible and characteristic style he shows why our sense of smell and taste do not simply perform basic and intermittent functions, but lie at the very centre of our perception of the world around us. Through an exploration of the physiology, anatomy and neuropsychology of the senses; the neurophysiological causes of smell and taste disorders, and their function in physical and mental illness, Neil Martin provides an accessible and up-to-date overview of the processes of gustation and olfaction. The Neuropsychology of Smell and Taste provides a state-of-the-art overview of current research in olfactory and gustatory perception. With sections describing the effect of odour and taste on our behaviour, and evaluating the contribution current neuroimaging technology has made to our understanding of the senses, the book will be of interest to researchers and students of neuropsychology and neuroscience, and anybody with an interest in olfaction and gustation.
We see the city, we hear the city, but above all: we smell the city.nbsp;Scent has unique qualities: ubiquity, persistence, and an unparalleled connection to memory, yet it has gone overlooked in discussions of sensory design. Whatnbsp;scents shape the city? How doesnbsp;scent contribute to placemaking? How do we design smell environments in the city? Urban Smellscapesnbsp;makes a notable contribution towards the growing body of literature on the senses and design by providing some answers to these questions and contributing towards the wider research agenda regarding how people sensually experience urban environments. It is the first of its kind in examining the role of smell specifically in contemporary experiences and perceptions of English towns and cities, highlighting the perception of urban smellscapes as inter-related with place perception, and describing odour's contribution towards overall sense of place. With case studies from factories, breweries, urban parks, and experimental smell environments in Manchester and Grasse, Urban Smellscapes identifies processes by which urban smell environments are managed and controlled, and gives designers and city managers tools to actively use smell in their work.
Can perceptual presence be explained by counterfactually-rich predictive models linking perception and action? Considering an unusually rich range of responses to this idea has led me to (1) re-emphasize the core conceptual commitment of "predictive processing of sensorimotor contingencies" (PPSMC) to predictive model-based perception, (2) reconsider the relationship between presence and objecthood, and (3) refine the phenomenological target by differentiating between perceptual presence and the phenomenology of absence-of-presence, or "phenomenal unreality." It turns out that this requires blue-sky thinking.
A new theory is taking hold in neuroscience. It is the theory that the brain is essentially a hypothesis-testing mechanism, one that attempts to minimise the error of its predictions about the sensory input it receives from the world. It is an attractive theory because powerful theoretical arguments support it, and yet it is at heart stunningly simple. Jakob Hohwy explains and explores this theory from the perspective of cognitive science and philosophy. The key argument throughout The Predictive Mind is that the mechanism explains the rich, deep, and multifaceted character of our conscious perception. It also gives a unified account of how perception is sculpted by attention, and how it depends on action. The mind is revealed as having a fragile and indirect relation to the world. Though we are deeply in tune with the world we are also strangely distanced from it. The first part of the book sets out how the theory enables rich, layered perception. The theory's probabilistic and statistical foundations are explained using examples from empirical research and analogies to different forms of inference. The second part uses the simple mechanism in an explanation of problematic cases of how we manage to represent, and sometimes misrepresent, the world in health as well as in mental illness. The third part looks into the mind, and shows how the theory accounts for attention, conscious unity, introspection, self and the privacy of our mental world.