Finally researchers have zeroed in on brain wiring between men and women to conclude that women excel men with a strong sense of smell, as they have 43% more cells in brain compared to men, known as the olfactory region.
Also called olfactory bulb, the region is the first brain part to receive olfactory information captured by the nostrils. With more cells, women’s olfactory detection is faster and also it plays a major role in differentiated social behaviour and may be connected to one’s perception of smell, which is naturally linked to associated experiences and emotions, said reserchers.
"Thus, women’s olfactory superiority has been suggested to be cognitive or emotional rather than perceptual," said researchers from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, who have examined post-mortem brains from seven men and 11 women, all aged 55 at the time of death.
The research team, led by professor Roberto Lent from the Institute of Biomedical Sciences at the Federal University, calculated the number of cells in the olfactory bulbs in these skulls with a fast and reliable technique that measures the absolute number of cells in a given brain structure.
In animals too, the olfactory ability is essential for females in their reproductive behaviour like preferential pair bonding and kin recognition.
If the new finding is proved further, it may hodl true the belief that the superior olfactory ability is an essential trait that has been inherited by women and maintained throughout the evolution, researchers said.
The research was done in collaboration with the University of Sao Paulo, University of California, San Francisco, and the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo, said the authors.