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Word meaning without the sense of smell


  • Dr Laura Speed
  • Johan Lundstrom (Karolinska Institutet)
  • Asifa Majid (University of York)

Time frame

August 2020 - ongoing

Project description

A wealth of research shows that multimodal perceptual information underlies word meaning. However the role of the sense of smell in word meaning has recently been questioned. This project will directly assess the critical role of olfaction in word meaning by exploring smell- and taste-related language in individuals without a sense of smell (i.e., anosmics) and comparing them to controls with an intact sense of smell. It is expected that without a sense of smell, comprehension of smell- and taste-related language will be more difficult and less emotional.


Word meaning, smell, comprehension


This project is internally funded by the Centre for Language Studies


Laura Speed, laura.speed@ru.nl