The Smell Experience Project

The Smell Experience Project

The Smell Experience Project, a project of New York University’s Institute for Social and Psychiatric Initiatives—Education, Research and Services (InSPIRES) is collecting stories from people who have experienced a significant change in their sense of smell.

Changes in odor perception can be a symptom of a condition, such as depression, head injury, dementia, or allergies, or a side effect of medication. Because the changes are subjective and difficult to measure, medical professionals often do not ask patients about changes in their sense of smell. As a result, there is little documented information about these changes. Smell Experience Researchers need your help to better understand changes in our sense of smell.

Project Details

  • PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Dolores Malaspina, MD, MSPH, Director of InSPIRES
  • SCIENTIST AFFILIATION: New York University School of Medicine
  • DATES: Ongoing
  • PROJECT TYPE: Questionnaire
  • COST: Free
  • GRADE LEVEL: All Ages

    If you ever noticed that your perception of smells changed, please tell us your story. Do not include your name or identifying information. By submitting your story you give us the right to use your story for our research and to include it in research presentations and in publications. For more information, contact Dolores Malaspina dolores.malaspina@nyumc.org or Deborah Goetz Deborah.goetz@nyumc.org.

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What Is Citizen Science?

Research often involves teams of scientists collaborating across continents. Now, using the power of the Internet, non-specialists are participating, too. Citizen Science falls into many categories. A pioneering project was SETI@Home, which has harnessed the idle computing time of millions of participants in the search for extraterrestrial life. Citizen scientists also act as volunteer classifiers of heavenly objects, such as in Galaxy Zoo. They make observations of the natural world, as in The Great Sunflower Project. And they even solve puzzles to design proteins, such as FoldIt. We'll add projects regularly—and please tell us about others you like as well.

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