This paper deals with the cognitive implications of a shift from an olfactory-centric experience of the living environment - still present in most organisms equipped with a nervous system - to a visuo-centric one, which is one typical of human beings. Our hypothesis is that the human cognition is profoundly different from other forms of animal cognition primarily because the human cognition is mostly guided by sight, while animal cognition is widely guided by olfaction. Olfactory perception, which is different from sight, is characterized by a hedonic and affective quality which embodies the perception, inducing a restriction of the decision making range. This means that the olfactory-centric organisms use affection as a medium between perception and cognition. On the contrary, visual perception is less embodied and visual objects often need to be interpreted. This could thus pose as a probable reason as to why visuo-centric organisms, such as humans, developed another medium between perception and behavior, namely productive thinking. This paper will offer elements to elaborate a more complex theoretical framework concerning the relation between the olfactory system, perception of the living environment, olfaction-related behaviors, and decision making.

Epistemology of Olfaction: Emotion, Cognition, and Decision Making

Bochicchio, Vincenzo
;
Valerio, Paolo;
2019

Abstract

This paper deals with the cognitive implications of a shift from an olfactory-centric experience of the living environment - still present in most organisms equipped with a nervous system - to a visuo-centric one, which is one typical of human beings. Our hypothesis is that the human cognition is profoundly different from other forms of animal cognition primarily because the human cognition is mostly guided by sight, while animal cognition is widely guided by olfaction. Olfactory perception, which is different from sight, is characterized by a hedonic and affective quality which embodies the perception, inducing a restriction of the decision making range. This means that the olfactory-centric organisms use affection as a medium between perception and cognition. On the contrary, visual perception is less embodied and visual objects often need to be interpreted. This could thus pose as a probable reason as to why visuo-centric organisms, such as humans, developed another medium between perception and behavior, namely productive thinking. This paper will offer elements to elaborate a more complex theoretical framework concerning the relation between the olfactory system, perception of the living environment, olfaction-related behaviors, and decision making.
9781538670941
decision making; emotion; olfaction; perception; productive thinking; Artificial Intelligence; Computer Networks and Communications; Human-Computer Interaction; Cognitive Neuroscience; Experimental and Cognitive Psychology; Communication
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/291307
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