The paper contains a review of data concerning olfactory memory. The results of research suggest that olfactory memory is divided into a sensory register, a short-term storage and a long-term storage. The properties of the sensory register and short-term storage are similar to those observed in other modalities. The short-term olfactory memory stores about 6 elements, discloses a serial effect, odors are coded in a sensory, and not verbal code, and it is subject to interference. Odors can be stored for a very long time, but their identification and recognition are not always successful. Long-term coding of odors is similar as compared to other kind of material. Verbalization is helpful in this process, the encoding specifity principle is noted, as well as benefits from dual encoding. The tip-of-the-nose effect is observed. Women have higher achievements in olfactory memory as compared to men. Olfactory memory is present from birth and develops due to contacts with olfactory stimuli. In older age a deterioration in olfactory functioning and olfactory memory follows. Expert olfactory memory is the result of many exposures to specific olfactory stimuli and of the development of knowledge about them.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.