Do you ever get a whiff of a smell and it instantly brings back memories of when you were younger? Maybe grandma’s house and some of her famous cookies? The human brain is fascinating and complex with abilities and functions beyond our consciousness. Our brain has a unique ability to transform some smells into long-term memories.
While you are sitting in the kitchen and grandma is baking there is communication between neurons in your brain and when this signal is altered by means of a process called synaptic plasticity a memory is created. All of this happens subconsciously without requiring us to do anything but smell grandma’s delicious cookies.
This is amazing considering that most of what you experience enters your short-term memory and its gone and forgotten in a few seconds. Next time you smell something, and it brings back a fond memory, take a moment to thank your brain for making that happen.