Scientists suspect that the smell of sweat has a calming effect, as it stimulates a specific part of the brain. This was written by various foreign media, incl BBC.
How exactly the volunteers collected sweat samples from themselves, the story does not tell. It is known that some of the volunteers collected sweat while watching a scary movie and some while watching a happy movie.
The study subjects were 48 women with social anxiety – such as fear of criticism or rejection. Some of them smelled sweat samples. Another part is smelling the placebo samples, so clean air.
In addition to sniffing fake sweat or sweat, all women practice mindfulness. The women who were exposed to real sweat fared better during this treatment. How exactly this was measured is not clear.
It’s still at an early stage
The BBC quoted researcher Elisa Vigna as saying that the race of people who watched the happy movie had the same effect as the race of people who watched something scary. Researchers will now look into whether sweat has a calming effect anyway, and so does not convey the mood of the person it comes from.
Perhaps a small caveat: sniffing others’ armpits too enthusiastically may still be premature; Scientists stress that these are preliminary results. The first results will be presented this week conference In Paris.
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