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Time to smell: a cascade model of human olfactory perception based on response-time (RT) measurement
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, Sweden.
2014 (English)In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 5, 33- p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The timing of olfactory behavioral decisions may provide an important source of information about how the human olfactory-perceptual system is organized. This review integrates results from olfactory response-time (RT) measurements from a perspective of mental chronometry. Based on these findings, a new cascade model of human olfaction is presented. Results show that main perceptual decisions are executed with high accuracy within about 1 s of sniff onset. The cascade model proposes the existence of distinct processing stages within this brief time-window. According to the cascade model, different perceptual features become accessible to the perceiver at different time-points, and the output of earlier processing stages provides the input for later processing stages. The olfactory cascade starts with detecting the odor, which is followed by establishing an odor object. The odor object, in turn, triggers systems for determining odor valence and edibility. Evidence for the cascade model comes from studies showing that RTs for odor valence and edibility assessment are predicted by the shorter RTs needed to establish the odor object. Challenges for future research include innovative task designs for olfactory RT experiments and the integration of the behavioral processing sequence into the underlying cortical processes using complementary RT measures and neuroimaging methods.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 5, 33- p.
Keyword [en]
olfaction, response-time, affect, emotion, valence, object
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-101479DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00033ISI: 000331273700001OAI: diva2:704816


Available from: 2014-03-13 Created: 2014-03-10 Last updated: 2014-03-13Bibliographically approved

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Olofsson, Jonas K.
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ReferencesLink to record
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