A Nose-Witness Can Identify A Criminal Just Like An Eye-Witness Can

Brilliance | Dec. 14, 2017

Do you smell that? The nose knows more than you may realize. According to a 2016 study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology in June 2016, the nose can help identify a criminal in a police lineup. In fact, a nose-witness to a crime can just as reliably identify the guilty party in a police lineup as an eye-witness can.

According to research, humans have the ability to identify people by their unique body odor. The human sense of smell (our olfactory system) is associated with our emotional processing. This system is directly linked to the parts of the brain responsible for emotion and memory, the hippocampus and amygdala. As a result, a witness to a crime would most likely experience a strong emotional response when in the presence of that criminal's scent. Watch the videos below to learn more about witnesses and the olfactory system.

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