If you tape your mouth and use your nose to breathe, there is a very good chance that your memory will be improved. A study by a group of scientists in Sweden reveals it after conducting a test on 24 participants.
The group compared the effects of nose and mouth breathing during a one-hour consolidation period after participants were exposed to various odours. Nose breathers with mouths taped up showed improved odour recognition compared to the mouth.
Professor Artin Arshamian, who led the Swedish study says “Memories pass through three main stages in their development – encoding, consolidation, and retrieval.
The experiment was divided into two sessions, each including an encoding, a consolidation, and a recognition stage.
In the encoding stage, participants were presented with six familiar (e.g., strawberry) and six unfamiliars (e.g., 1-butanol) odours and asked to remember them.
After the encoding phase, participants rested without sleeping (consolidation phase) for one hour during which they either
breathed through their nose or mouth.
Now, during the odour remembering stage, participants were once again presented with the odours from the encoding phase but this time intermixed with 12 new odours (6 familiar and 6 unfamiliar odours). For each odour, participants were made to identify odour familiarity.
During both experiments, nasal airflow was monitored to calculate sniff results during odour presentation. The result proved that respiration had an impact on memory.
Loss of Smell might affect the memory.
Researchers say breathing through our noses improves long-term memory. This includes evidence that recalling an object is easier if we see
it on a nasal inhaler.
Other studies have shown that losing our sense of smell could be one of the first signs of Alzheimer’s Disease(A disease that destroys
memory and other important mental functions).
A Complete loss of smell is called anosmia. A person’s sense of smell goe through many processes. First, a molecule released from a substance (such as fragrance from a flower) must trigger special nerve cells found high up in the nose. These nerve cells then send information to the brain, where the specific smell is identified. If anything interferes with these processes, damage to the nerve cells can lead to loss of smell.
Typically, if a person doesn’t regain his ability to smell six months after the injury, the loss is likely permanent. It’s difficult to determine the reason for the loss. Problems with smell loss can result from damage to nasal passageways or injury to smell centres in the frontotemporal regions of the brain.