Women have a more uniform sense of smell than men, and are also thought to be more sensitive to emotional cues.
So Chen and graduate student Wen Zhou presented 22 pairs of young women living in university dormitories with identical t-shirts to sleep in.
After being worn for one night, the t-shirts were later presented to the same women to smell.
Each woman was given three t-shirts and informed that one of the shirts had been worn by her roommate, and that the other two had been worn by other university students.
The subjects were asked to identify the shirt that had been worn by their roommate.
The women then took a series of recognized emotional-sensitivity tests.
Subjects who correctly selected the t-shirt worn by their roommates tended to score high on the emotional tests.
Link | Photo: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services