Pumpkin spice really does give you the warm fuzzies — here's the science of why

(CNN)If you're suddenly craving pumpkin spice lattes or pumpkin bread now that it's officially fall, it's not just your stomach talking. Catching a whiff of a pumpkin spice-flavored food or drink can trigger emotions and memories that go deeper than a hunger pang.

Combined with savvy marketing, it's no wonder the phrase "pumpkin spice" has become synonymous with the onset of fall.
The part of your brain that processes smell is closely tied to the part of your brain responsible for memories, according to Jason Fischer and Sarah Cormiea of the Dynamic Perception Lab at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
    This close connection accounts for the fact that smells such as musty books can take you back to long study sessions at the library or campfires can remind you of nights at summer sleepaway camp.
      (From left) Jason Fischer and Sarah Cormiea of the Dynamic Perception Lab at Johns Hopkins University have researched how the brain responds to the smell of pumpkin spice.