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It was recently proposed (Bushdid et al., 2014) that humans can discriminate between at least a trillion olfactory stimuli. Here we show that this claim is the result of a

It was recently proposed (Bushdid et al., 2014) that humans can discriminate between at least a trillion olfactory stimuli. Here we show that this claim is the result of a fragile estimation framework capable of producing nearly any result from the reported data, including values tens of orders of magnitude larger or smaller than the one originally reported in (Bushdid et al., 2014). Additionally, the formula used to derive this estimate is well-known to provide an upper bound, not a lower bound as reported.

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    Date Created
    • 2015-07-07
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  • Text
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    Identifier
    • Digital object identifier: 10.7554/eLife.08127
    • Identifier Type
      International standard serial number
      Identifier Value
      2050-084X

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    Gerkin, R. C., & Castro, J. B. (2015). The number of olfactory stimuli that humans can discriminate is still unknown. ELife, 4. doi:10.7554/elife.08127

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