Studies on Olfactory Dreaming
The present study focused on olfactory sensations in dreams. We provided evidence for the existence of olfactory sensations in dreams and their relation to odors experienced in real life. We introduced a newly designed questionnaire and examined dream reports with regard to features, such as the aspect of bizarreness in olfactory dreams, not described in previous research. In the first part of the study, the questionnaire was answered by 696 people. This included a high proportion of elderly people, a demographic aspect that was underrepresented in previous studies. In the second part, a group of olfactory dreamers (n = 20) was compared to a group of non-olfactory dreamers (n = 21) with regard to olfactory function, including performance in odor threshold, odor discrimination, and odor identification. In line with previous work, we showed that olfactory dreamers pay more attention to odors in their everyday lives and that they tend to be better than non-olfactory dreamers in olfactory tasks related to higher-level olfactory processing.
KeywordsOlfaction Smell Dreaming Olfactory Imagery
We would like to thank the “Deutsches Hygienemuseum Dresden” for the help in acquiring questionnaire data in large numbers of participants and Ken Heigh for the valuable help in finding the correct expressions and wording in English.
The authors report no conflicts of interest.
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