Measuring smells

Rafi Haddad, Hadas Lapid, David Harel, Noam Sobel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Olfaction consists of a set of transforms from a physical space of odorant molecules, through a neural space of information processing, and into a perceptual space of smell. Elucidating the rules governing these transforms depends on establishing valid metrics for each of the three spaces. Here we first briefly review the perceptual and neural spaces, and then concentrate on the physical space of odorant molecules. We argue that the lack of an agreed-upon odor metric poses a significant obstacle toward understanding the neurobiology of olfaction, and suggest two alternative odor metrics as possible solutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-444
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Neurobiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Authors RH and NS are supported by an FP7 Ideas Grant 200850 from the European Research Council. Author DH is supported by The John von Neumann Minerva Center for the Development of Reactive Systems of the Weizmann Institute of Science. We thank Arak Elite.


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