如何训练你的嗅觉?
How to master your sense of smell?
686字
2019-11-11 18:18
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火星译客

Perfumers can learn to distinguish individual odors in a fragrance made of hundreds of scents.

调香师可以从百种气味构成的香味中辨别单种味道。

Tea experts have been known to sniff out not just the location where a tea was from, but the season of harvest and whether it was planted by a plum tree. And the New York City Transit Authority once had an employee responsible only for sniffing out gas leaks in the subway system.

茶叶专家不仅可以辨别茶叶的来源,还有收获季节和它周围的树种。纽约城市运输当局在地铁系统中,曾经有一名员工唯一的职责就是找出哪里有泄露管道。

Can just anyone learn to smell with the sensitivity of those experts? For most of us, what we smell is largely involuntary, whether it's garbage behind a restaurant, the shampoo of the woman leaving an elevator as you enter, or a bakery's fresh-made bread.

任何人经过训练都能达到这些专家一样的嗅觉灵敏度吗?我们中的大多数人都是被动闻到气味的,不论这味道来自餐馆后面的垃圾,还是当你进入电梯与离开的女士擦肩而过时飘来的发香,或是烘焙店新鲜出炉的面包。

With a few million olfactory receptors in our noses, we clearly don't lack the ability to smell well. We just might not always pay close enough attention. That's a shame because we may be missing opportunities to make strong emotional connections.

在我们的鼻子里存在着几百万个气味感受器,很明显我们并不缺少嗅觉灵敏的能力。我们只是不能集中足够的注意力。这会有点可惜,因为我们可能一直在错失机会去建立强大的情感连接。

Smells are powerfully linked to emotions and can awaken memories of places we've long ago left and people we've loved. But fortunately, it is possible to train our brains to smell better.

气味与情感是紧密相连的,它可以削弱我们对于离开很久的地方和我们爱过的人的记忆。所幸我们可以训练我们的大脑更好的识别气味。

For example, Helen Keller was able to recognize a person's work, and in her words, distinguish the carpenter from the iron worker, the artist from the mason or the chemist, by a simple inhale.

比如说,盲女海伦·凯勒可以识别一个人的工作,用她的话讲就是,区别木工和铁匠,石匠艺术家还是化学家,只需要简单的吸一口气。

Follow these steps and you too can change the way the world smells to you. First, stick your nose in it. Some animals that are known to be great smellers, like dogs who can sniff out explosives and pigs who can find truffles underground, put their noses right at the place they want to smell.

跟着以下的步骤,你也可以改变世界呈现气味给你的方式。第一步:凑近你的鼻子。一些动物拥有很好的嗅觉,像狗可以寻找爆炸物,猪可以找到埋在地下的松露。而这只需要把它们的鼻子放在想要闻的地方。

Human noses, meanwhile, are casting around in the middle of the air, giving us an anatomical disadvantage. So bring your nose close to the world around you. The ground, surfaces, objects, the food in your hand. Get close to your dog, your partner, the book you're reading. 

而与此同时,人类的鼻子被至于半空中,成为了我们生理剖析学上的一个劣势。所以带着你的鼻子去接近周围的世界吧。土地,各种表层,物体,手中的食物,还有你的小狗,你的爱人,你在读的书。

Not only will your nose be closer to the odor source, but the warmth of your breath will make odors easier to smell. 

你的鼻子不仅仅会离这些气味源更近,呼气时的温度也会使得气味更容易识别。

Second, sniff like you mean it. Smelling actually happens way up near the bridge of our noses in a postage stamp-sized square of tissue called the olfactory epithelium. When we sniff, odor molecules are sucked up into our nostrils until they hit this tissue where they combine to our olfactory, or scent, receptors.

第二点:把嗅识当成你的需要。事实上嗅的过程发生在我们的鼻梁附近,位于一个邮票大小的方形组织,叫做嗅上皮。当我们嗅的时候,香味分子被吸入到我们的鼻孔,直到撞击到这个组织,在这里它们与我们的嗅觉,或者叫气味接收器结合。

When we inhale normally, only a little air makes it there. But one or two solid sharp sniffs will ensure that more air gets to your smell receptors. After just a few more sniffs, the receptors, which are best at noticing new smells, turn off temporarily. So you can give your nose a rest and sniff again later.

当我们正常的吸气时,仅仅有很少的空气到达这里。但是一至两个深呼吸会确保更多的空气进入你的气味接收器。在几次嗅的动作后,你会发现新气味能力极佳的接收器会暂时的关闭。这时候你可以让你的鼻子休息,之后再继续进行嗅识。

Finally, dwell on the smell. Most smells pass by us with little attention, but simply noticing what you're smelling and by trying to describe it, name it, and locate its source, you can expand your vocabulary of smells.

最后一点:停留并专注于气味。我们在经过大多数的气味时只付出一点点注意力,但是试着仅仅注意你闻到的气味,试着去描述它,命名它,并且定位它的来源,这样就可以扩大你的气味词汇。

When an odor molecule binds to a scent receptor, it sends an electrical signal from the sensory neurons to our brain's olfactory bulbs. The signal then continues to other areas of the brain, where it's integrated with taste, memory, or emotional information before registering to us as a smell.

当一个气味分子与气味感受器结合时,它从感觉神经元发射一个电信号到我们的大脑嗅球部位上。信号继续到达其他的大脑区域,这些区域与味觉、记忆或者情感的信息相结合,这些都发生在我们得到嗅觉的反馈之前。

FMRI research shows that the extra time spent focusing on scent changes the brain of experienced smellers. For them, perceiving and imagining odors becomes more automatic than for non-experts.

FMRI成像显示专注于气味而额外花费的时间改变了大脑的嗅觉经验。对于专家而言,接受和想象气味与非专家相比将会变得更加自主化。

To get started yourself, take ingredients from your kitchen: spices, vanilla, or fruit, but never anything toxic. Close your eyes and have someone bring them under your nose. Sniff and try to name the source.

进行自学培训的时候,从你的厨房找些原料:香料、香草精华或者水果,但是千万不要试任何有毒的东西。闭上你的眼睛,让别人拿起其中一样放到你的鼻子下面。闻一闻,并且试着去猜测。

Over time, you'll begin to appreciate nuances in familiar odors and recognize characteristics of new and unusual smells. 

一段时间后,你将能够鉴别一些熟悉气味间的细小差别,并且识别一些新的和特殊的气味特征。

The perfumer has practiced these steps enough to become an artist of odor, but even if you never pursue smelling to that degree, the spectacular result of an unspectacular action will change how you sense and experience your days.

调香师都会反复练习这些步骤直到变成气味艺术家,但即使你从来不会追求嗅觉达到那样的程度,但无意识的动作所引发的惊人效果将会改变你所感知和经历的时光。

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