In a recent study, Fahmeed Hyder and a group of Yale researchers, including Justus Verhagen of The John B. Pierce Laboratory, have found that odors sensed through eating are weaker than those sensed through inhalation.
The study, which was published in the journal NeuroImage, set out to compare smells that take an oral route to the brain with those that take a nasal route. The paper explained that odorants were delivered to rats through both routes, and brain activity of the olfactory bulb — the region of the brain responsible for smell — was measured and compared between the two pathways. The researchers found that the nasal route gave rise to higher overall brain activity when compared to the oral route.