To know with the nose: keys to odor identification

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Science  02 Feb 1979:
Vol. 203, Issue 4379, pp. 467-470
DOI: 10.1126/science.760202


Successful odor identification depends on (i) commonly encountered substances, (ii) a long-standing connection between an odor and its name, and (iii) aid in recalling the name. The absence of any one ingredient impairs performance dramatically, but the presence of all three permits ready identification of scores of substances, with performance seemingly limited only by the inherent confusability of the stimuli.