Digital synesthesia: Tricking your brain into experiencing smell as temperature in virtual reality

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As a molecular biologist, I would not describe this situation as smell being represented as temperature. These molecules directly activate temperature sensors, they do not bind to odorant receptors. A more accurate description would be that they have shown that temperature sensation can be altered by timed delivery of temperature sensor modulators via the nose.


I worked in a factory that processed menthol and there is no way I’m huffing that stuff.
Cold is absolutely the correct term for it. It would be +100F in the factory yet a deep breath would make you think it was a brisk winter morning.


Sounds like a candidate for another way the world’s wealthy citizens will try to escape global warming… VR snow and a nasal shot of the stuff.

Every time I come across articles and research working with the senses and the idea idea of “recreating or simulating ”them, I’m always amazed at how little we know about our own senses or even the mechanics behind them. Is it weird to say, “It’s nice to know there’s still some wonder in the world”?

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