Professor in Psychology at Stockholm University
Membership period 2015–2020
Human olfaction – the sense of smell – enables us to appreciate foods and drinks, it warns us of dangerous chemicals, and it makes our environments more enjoyable. However, olfaction is one of our least explored sensory systems. My research investigates how our brains process odors. To map these processes, I carry out psychological experiments in combination with biological measurements, in particular neuroimaging and genetic information. Together with my colleagues, I have found that olfactory deficits might be an early indication of a developing dementia disorder. Thus, olfactory testing might be used as a diagnostic tool in the future. We also investigate how olfactory abilities might be altered through training. Our goal is to develop methods for training the aging brain with odors in order to strengthen the perceptual and cognitive abilities of the brain.
1. Photo: Erik Thor 2. Photo: Caitlin Hawley 3. Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter: “Noseworthy reasearch worth millions”, Jonas Olofsson receives large research grant to study how the sense of smell can be trained with computer games and prevent dementia. Portrait: Johan Smitt (click to enlarge images)