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Southwestern Regional Convention
2014 SWPA Convention
April 3–5, 2014Hyatt Regency Hotel | San Antonio, TX

Psi Chi Distinguished Lecturer

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee:
The Importance of Our Sense of Smell

How do you think you would feel if you woke up one morning and could no longer smell? You might think it wouldn’t affect much, other than not being able to smell the coffee, but in fact your inability to smell would have a devastating impact on all aspects of your life. Dr. Rachel Herz has been studying the sense of smell for almost 25 years and has found that it is the most critical sense for our emotional experiences, emotional memories and our intimate interpersonal interactions. She has also discovered how language, context and suggestion influence our sense of smell and in turn how our sense of smell influences our everyday life—from our enjoyment of food, to how we behave, to our sense of self.

Rachel Herz, PhD
Brown University (RI)

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Rachel Herz, Ph.D. is a neuroscientist and leading world expert on the psychological science of smell. She has been conducting research on the sense of smell, emotion, perception, motivated behavior, and cognition since 1990. Dr. Herz has published over 70 original research papers, coauthored several college textbooks, and is an adjunct professor at Brown University and part-time faculty at Boston College. She is also a professional consultant to various industries regarding smell, taste, food, and flavor, and is frequently called upon as an expert witness in legal cases involving olfaction. Dr. Herz is the author of The Scent of Desire: Discovering Our Enigmatic Sense of Smell, which was selected as a finalist for the 2009 AAAS Prize for Excellence in Science Books, and That’s Disgusting: Unraveling the Mysteries of Repulsion, which received numerous accolades and analyzes the emotion of disgust from culture to neuroscience. Rachel Herz is currently working on a new popular science book exploring our psychology and passion for food.

For more information see:

Evan Zucker, PhD
Loyola University
Biographical Information


Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, Guatemala



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