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  • 1.
    Addo, Rebecka N.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics. Uppsala University, Sweden.
    Wiens, Stefan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Nord, Marie
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Olfactory Functions in Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorders2017In: Perception, ISSN 0301-0066, E-ISSN 1468-4233, Vol. 46, no 3-4, 530-537 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are often characterized by atypical sensory behavior (hyperor hyporeactivity) although evidence is scarce regarding olfactory abilities in ASD; 16 adults with high-functioning ASD (mean age: 38.2, SD: 9.7) and 14 healthy control subjects (mean age: 42.0 years, SD: 12.5) were assessed in odor threshold, free and cued odor identification, and perceived pleasantness, intensity, and edibility of everyday odors. Although results showed no differences between groups, the Bayes Factors (close to 1) suggested that the evidence for no group differences on the threshold and identification tests was inconclusive. In contrast, there was some evidence for no group differences on perceived edibility (BF01 = 2.69) and perceived intensity (BF01 = 2.80). These results do not provide conclusive evidence for or against differences between ASD and healthy controls on olfactory abilities. However, they suggest that there are no apparent group differences in subjective ratings of odors.

  • 2. Aletta, F.
    et al.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Kang, J.
    Towards acoustic indicators for soundscape design2014In: Proceeding of Forum Acusticum 2014, 2014, SS31_10Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Scientific research on how people perceive, experience or understand the acoustic environment as a whole (i.e., soundscape) is still in development, both with regards to acoustic properties, as well as personality and individual differences. In order to predict how people would perceive an acoustic environment, it is central to identify the underlying acoustic properties of soundscapes. In this study these properties were approached by investigating the visual similarity of colour prints of 50 audio spectrograms (time vs. frequency), representing audio recordings of a variety of acoustic environments. In total, 15 female and 15 male students from the University of Sheffield were recruited to assess the 50 spectrograms by sorting them into groups based on how similar they were perceived to be. A distance matrix, derived from the sorting data, was subjected to a Multidimensional Scaling analysis to map the underlying dimensions of similarity among the spectrograms, which are proposed to represent the underlying acoustic properties of the corresponding acoustic environments. Three dimensions were identified. The first dimension relates to Distinguishable–Indistinguishable sound sources, the second dimension to Background–Foreground sounds, and the third dimension to Intrusive–Smooth sound sources. The results also show that established acoustic parameters are inappropriate as indicators of acoustic environments and that further research is needed in this field.

  • 3. Aletta, Francesco
    et al.
    Kang, Jian
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics. University of Sheffield, United Kingdom.
    Soundscape descriptors and a conceptual framework for developing predictive soundscape models2016In: Landscape and Urban Planning, ISSN 0169-2046, E-ISSN 1872-6062, Vol. 149, 65-74 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Soundscape exists through human perception of the acoustic environment. This paper investigates how soundscape currently is assessed and measured. It reviews and analyzes the main soundscape descriptors in the soundscape literature, and provides a conceptual framework for developing predictive models in soundscape studies. A predictive soundscape model provides a means of predicting the value of a soundscape descriptor, and the blueprint for how to design soundscape. It is the key for implementing the soundscape approach in urban planning and design. The challenge is to select the appropriate soundscape descriptor and to identify its predictors. The majority of available soundscape descriptors are converging towards a 2-dimensional soundscape model of perceived affective quality (e.g., Pleasantness–Eventfulness, or Calmness–Vibrancy). A third potential dimension is the appropriateness of a soundscape to a place. This dimensions provides complementary information beyond the perceived affective quality. However, it depends largely on context, and because a soundscape may be appropriate to a place although it is poor, this descriptor must probably not be used on its own. With regards to predictors, or soundscape indicators, perceived properties of the acoustic environment (e.g., perceived sound sources) are winning over established acoustic and psychoacoustic metrics. To move this area forward it is necessary that the international soundscape community comes together and agrees on relevant soundscape descriptors. This includes to agree on numerical scales and assessment procedures, as well as to standardize them.

  • 4. Aletta, Francesco
    et al.
    Margaritis, Efstathios
    Filipan, Karlo
    Puyana Romero, Virginia
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Kang, Jian
    Characterization of the soundscape in Valley Gardens, Brighton, by a soundwalk prior to an urban design intervention2015In: Proceedings of Euronoise 2015 / [ed] C. Glorieux, Nederlands Akoestisch Genootschap and ABAV - Belgian Acoustical Society , 2015, 1547-1552 p., 357Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of the present study was to characterize the soundscape of the Valley Gardens in Brighton before the area is converted into a downtown park. Valley Gardens is located in the busy city centre. It extends from the Brighton Pier at the seafront and approximately 1.5 km to the north. It includes Old Stein, Victoria Gardens, St Peter’s Church, and The Level. In 2015 work will commence on redeveloping Victoria Gardens and St Peter’s Church. In order to characterize the soundscape of the Valley Gardens prior to this urban design intervention a soundwalk was conducted. In October 2014, a group of 21 persons -experts in acoustics and officers of the City Council- were guided through the area together, and assessed the soundscape at eight sites: five within the Valley Gardens and three reference sites. The assessments covered the soundscape quality, how appropriate the soundscape is to the place, the dominance of perceived sound sources, and the affective quality of the soundscape. In addition, binaural recordings and sound-level measurements were conducted at each of the eight sites during the soundwalk. Preliminary results indicate that the Valley Gardens was dominated by the sound of road traffic, and that the soundscape was perceived as inappropriate to the place. Consequently, the planned design intervention should reduce the dominance of road-traffic sound and introduce more positive sounds, like the sound of people and nature. This would be done through careful planning of the landscape and human activities within the area. The plan is to follow-up these results with a post-intervention soundwalk.

  • 5. Andéhn, Mikael
    et al.
    Nordin, Fredrik
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School.
    Nilsson, Mats E.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Facets of country image and brand equity: Revisiting the role of product categories in country-of-origin effect research2016In: Journal of Consumer Behaviour, ISSN 1472-0817, E-ISSN 1479-1838, Vol. 15, no 3, 225-238 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The country-of-origin effect is a topic central to the field of international marketing. Country of origin has been found to exert a particularly potent effect on consumer evaluation in situations where there is a strong link between a country and a particular product category. The present study provides further insight into how this particular effect can be understood. Drawing on a novel conceptualization of how country image and product categories interact, this study tested the relative evaluative relevance of product category with respect to estimates of brand equity across a variety of product categories. The findings suggest that facets of a country's image that are more closely related to the evaluation situation exert a greater influence on the evaluation of brands. This result encourages scholars as well as practitioners to re-evaluate which situations might cause the country of origin effect to hold managerial relevance and paves the way for new paths toward a more comprehensive understanding of the effect. 

  • 6.
    Arshamian, Artin
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics. Karolinska Institutet, Sweden; Radboud University, The Netherlands.
    Laska, Matthias
    Gordon, Amy R.
    Norberg, Matilda
    Lahger, Christian
    Porada, Danja K.
    Jelvez Serra, Nadia
    Johansson, Emilia
    Schaefer, Martin
    Amundin, Mats
    Melin, Harald
    Olsson, Andreas
    Olsson, Mats J.
    Stensmyr, Marcus
    Lundström, Johan N.
    A mammalian blood odor component serves as an approach-avoidance cue across phylum border - from flies to humans2017In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 7, 13635Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Chemosignals are used by predators to localize prey and by prey to avoid predators. These cues vary between species, but the odor of blood seems to be an exception and suggests the presence of an evolutionarily conserved chemosensory cue within the blood odor mixture. A blood odor component, E2D, has been shown to trigger approach responses identical to those triggered by the full blood odor in mammalian carnivores and as such, is a key candidate as a food/alarm cue in blood. Using a multidisciplinary approach, we demonstrate that E2D holds the dual function of affecting both approach and avoidance behavior in a predator-prey predicted manner. E2D evokes approach responses in two taxonomically distant blood-seeking predators, Stable fly and Wolf, while evoking avoidance responses in the prey species Mouse. We extend this by demonstrating that this chemical cue is preserved in humans as well; E2D induces postural avoidance, increases physiological arousal, and enhances visual perception of affective stimuli. This is the first demonstration of a single chemical cue with the dual function of guiding both approach and avoidance in a predator-prey predicted manner across taxonomically distant species, as well as the first known chemosignal that affects both human and non-human animals alike.

  • 7.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Effects of a low-height sound absorbent street furniture and a fountain on the soundscape in a Stockholm pocket park2016In: Proceedings of the Inter-Noise 2016, 2016, 5203-5211 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study investigated the effects of a mock-up version of a low-height sound absorbent street furniture and a fountain on the local soundscape in a pocket park in Stockholm. Binaural recordings were conducted at two distances from the main road (on the sidewalk and in the park). The recordings were conducted with or without the mock-up, and with the local fountain either turned on or off. Thirty-two students (16 women, Mage = 26.6 yrs., SDage = 5.7) participated in a listening experiment, and assessed eight experimental sounds, in context of 12 fill sounds, on how pleasant or eventful they were. ANOVA showed that the mock-up had a stronger effect on pleasantness on the sidewalk than in the park, and the fountain contributed to pleasantness only in the absence of the mock-up. Moreover, the fountain reduced the eventfulness in the park but not on the sidewalk. The results are in line with previous case studies. Taken together, they suggest that it is better to build low-height sound absorbent street furniture  han fountains, to improve the urban soundscape.

  • 8.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    How to measure soundscape quality2015In: Proceedings of Euronoise 2015 / [ed] C. Glorieux, Nederlands Akoestisch Genootschap and ABAV - Belgian Acoustical Society , 2015, 1477-1481 p., 67Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The Swedish Soundscape-Quality Protocol has been criticized for being insufficient, because it proposes to assess soundscape quality by a Good–Bad Scale, and alternatively by eight attribute scales assessing the perceived affective quality of a soundscape. Critics argue that further alternative definitions of ‘soundscape quality’ must be explored. In particular they argue for assessing ‘soundscape quality’ by asking to what extent a soundscape is appropriate to a place. The Sound Cities project at School of Architecture, University of Sheffield, in the UK, investigated this issue by a listening experiment involving 50 university students and 25 urban and peri-urban areas from the UK. The results indicate that the Good–Bad Scale is correlated with the perceived affective quality of a soundscape. Conversely, the appropriateness of a soundscape to a place is orthogonal to the former two assessments and provides additional information. Thus, a soundscape can be appropriate to a place even though it is poor. This raises the issue of which information should be given priority. Probably the best recommendation is to assess soundscape by perceived affective quality. In addition, it is possible to complement this assessment by assessing the appropriateness of the soundscape to the place. However, the latter assessment should not be used on its own, as this may lead to unfortunate conclusions.

  • 9.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Soundscape and the human scale in urban design2015Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    With changing practices in urban planning, moving away from thinking of the city primarily in terms of infrastructure towards a growing appreciation of the city as a stage for social interaction, the human scale is all more important in urban design. What do the citizens need, and how would they like the city to be? Soundscape research focuses on these issues with regards to the acoustic environment, aiming to develop knowledge, tools and strategies. Central purposes of soundscapes studies are to describe, evaluate, change or to design/create acoustic environments. The aim is to promote health, well-being and quality of life. Because soundscape concerns how people perceive, experience or understand the acoustic environment the human scale is taken into account by definition. This paper will discuss questions that are central to soundscape theory and its application in an increasingly dense urban environment.

  • 10.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Towards guidelines for soundscape design2015In: Book of Proceedings AESOP Prague Annual Congress 2015: Definite Space – Fuzzy Responsibility / [ed] M. Macoun & K. Maier, 2015, 802-808 p.Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Architects and urban planners request guidelines with regards to soundscape design. In 2013 staff and students at the University of Sheffield, UK, were invited to take part in an electronic survey to investigate what kinds of urban open spaces that they prefer, and how these spaces should be designed with regards to soundscape. Respondents were asked to freely name their favourite outdoor place in Sheffield, and to what extent they found a list of 45 social and recreational activities, as well as a list of 40 sound sources appropriate for this place. A total of 935 individuals completed the questionnaire. A hierarchical cluster analysis of the 45 social and recreational activities revealed three main categories of favourite outdoor places: ‘Urban Park’, ‘City Centre’, and ‘My Space’. For ‘Urban Park’ natural sounds were appropriate when clearly audible, sounds of individuals when moderately audible, sounds of crowds when slightly audible, and technological sounds when inaudible. For ‘City Centre’ sounds of individuals were appropriate when moderately audible, whereas natural sounds, and sounds of crowds were appropriate when slightly audible. Technological sounds were appropriate when inaudible. For ‘My Space’ natural sounds and sounds of individuals were appropriate when moderately audible, whereas sounds of crowds and technological sounds were appropriate when inaudible. This kinds of profiles may serve as design guidelines for urban outdoor spaces with regards to soundscape, based on their social and recreational purposes.

  • 11.
    Cornell Kärnekull, Stina
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Arshamian, Artin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics. Karolinska Institutet, Sweden; Radboud University, Netherlands.
    Nilsson, Mats E.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    From Perception to Metacognition: Auditory and Olfactory Functions in Early Blind, Late Blind, and Sighted Individuals2016In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 7, 1450Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Although evidence is mixed, studies have shown that blind individuals perform better than sighted at specific auditory, tactile, and chemosensory tasks. However, few studies have assessed blind and sighted individuals across different sensory modalities in the same study. We tested early blind (n = 15), late blind (n = 15), and sighted (n = 30) participants with analogous olfactory and auditory tests in absolute threshold, discrimination, identification, episodic recognition, and metacognitive ability. Although the multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) showed no overall effect of blindness and no interaction with modality, follow-up between-group contrasts indicated a blind-over-sighted advantage in auditory episodic recognition, that was most pronounced in early blind individuals. In contrast to the auditory modality, there was no empirical support for compensatory effects in any of the olfactory tasks. There was no conclusive evidence for group differences in metacognitive ability to predict episodic recognition performance. Taken together, the results showed no evidence of an overall superior performance in blind relative sighted individuals across olfactory and auditory functions, although early blind individuals exceled in episodic auditory recognition memory. This observation may be related to an experience-induced increase in auditory attentional capacity.

  • 12.
    Cornell Kärnekull, Stina
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Jönsson, Fredrik U.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Olofsson, Jonas K.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Affected by Smells?: Environmental Chemical Responsivity Predicts Odor Perception2011In: Chemical Senses, ISSN 0379-864X, E-ISSN 1464-3553, Vol. 36, no 7, 641-648 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Strong negative reactions, physical symptoms, and behavioral disruptions due to environmental odors are common in the adult population. We investigated relationships among such environmental chemosensory responsivity (CR), personality traits, affective states, and odor perception. Study 1 showed that CR and neuroticism were positively correlated in a sample of young adults (n = 101), suggesting that persons high in neuroticism respond more negatively to environmental odors. Study 2 explored the relationships among CR, noise responsivity (NR), neuroticism, and odor perception (i.e., pleasantness and intensity) in a subset of participants (n = 40). High CR was associated with high NR. Regression analyses indicated that high CR predicted higher odor intensity ratings and low olfactory threshold (high sensitivity) predicted lower pleasantness ratings. However, neuroticism was not directly associated with odor ratings or thresholds. Overall, the results suggest that CR and odor thresholds predict perceptual ratings of odors and that high CR is associated with nonchemosensory affective traits.

  • 13.
    Cornell Kärnekull, Stina
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Jönsson, Fredrik U.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
    Willander, Johan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. University College of Gävle, Sweden.
    Sikström, Sverker
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Long-Term Memory for Odors: Influences of Familiarity and Identification Across 64 Days2015In: Chemical Senses, ISSN 0379-864X, E-ISSN 1464-3553, Vol. 40, no 4, 259-267 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Few studies have investigated long-term odor recognition memory, although some early observations suggested that the forgetting rate of olfactory representations is slower than for other sensory modalities. This study investigated recognition memory across 64 days for high and low familiar odors and faces. Memory was assessed in 83 young participants at 4 occasions; immediate, 4, 16, and 64 days after encoding. The results indicated significant forgetting for odors and faces across the 64 days. The forgetting functions for the 2 modalities were not fundamentally different. Moreover, high familiar odors and faces were better remembered than low familiar ones, indicating an important role of semantic knowledge on recognition proficiency for both modalities. Although odor recognition was significantly better than chance at the 64 days testing, memory for the low familiar odors was relatively poor. Also, the results indicated that odor identification consistency across sessions, irrespective of accuracy, was positively related to successful recognition.

  • 14. Croy, Ilona
    et al.
    Zehner, Cora
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Zucco, Gesualdo M.
    Hummel, Thomas
    Test-Retest Reliability and Validity of the Sniffin' TOM Odor Memory Test2015In: Chemical Senses, ISSN 0379-864X, E-ISSN 1464-3553, Vol. 40, no 3, 173-179 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Few attempts have been made to develop an olfactory test that captures episodic retention of olfactory information. Assessment of episodic odor memory is of particular interest in aging and in the cognitively impaired as both episodic memory deficits and olfactory loss have been targeted as reliable hallmarks of cognitive decline and impending dementia. Here, 96 healthy participants (18-92 years) and an additional 19 older people with mild cognitive impairment were tested (73-82 years). Participants were presented with 8 common odors with intentional encoding instructions that were followed by a yes-no recognition test. After recognition completion, participants were asked to identify all odors by means of free or cued identification. A retest of the odor memory test (Sniffin' TOM = test of odor memory) took place 17 days later. The results revealed satisfactory test-retest reliability (0.70) of odor recognition memory. Both recognition and identification performance were negatively affected by age and more pronounced among the cognitively impaired. In conclusion, the present work presents a reliable, valid, and simple test of episodic odor recognition memory that may be used in clinical groups where both episodic memory deficits and olfactory loss are prevalent preclinically such as Alzheimer's disease.

  • 15.
    Ekström, Ingrid
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Sjölund, Sara
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Nordin, Steven
    Nordin Adolfsson, Annelie
    Adolfsson, Rolf
    Nilsson, Lars-Göran
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Olofsson, Jonas K.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics. Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, Sweden.
    Smell Loss Predicts Mortality Risk Regardless of Dementia Conversion2017In: Journal of The American Geriatrics Society, ISSN 0002-8614, E-ISSN 1532-5415, Vol. 65, no 6, 1238-1243 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objectives

    To determine whether dementia could explain the association between poor olfactory performance and mortality risk within a decade-long follow-up period.

    Design

    Prospective cohort study.

    Setting

    Betula Study, Umeå, Sweden.

    Participants

    A population-based sample of adult participants without dementia at baseline aged 40 to 90 (N = 1,774).

    Measurements

    Olfactory performance using the Scandinavian Odor-Identification Test (SOIT) and self-reported olfactory function; several social, cognitive, and medical risk factors at baseline; and incident dementia during the following decade.

    Results

    Within the 10-year follow-up, 411 of 1,774 (23.2%) participants had died. In a Cox model, the association between higher SOIT score and lower mortality was significant (hazard ratio (HR) = 0.74 per point interval, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.71-0.77, P < .001). The effect was attenuated, but remained significant, after controlling for age, sex, education, and health-related and cognitive variables (HR = 0.92, 95% CI = 0.87-0.97, P = .001). The association between SOIT score and mortality was retained after controlling for dementia conversion before death (HR = 0.92, 95% CI = 0.87-0.97, P = .001). Similar results were obtained for self-reported olfactory dysfunction.

    Conclusion

    Poor odor identification and poor self-reported olfactory function are associated with greater likelihood of future mortality. Dementia does not attenuate the association between olfactory loss and mortality, suggesting that olfactory loss might mark deteriorating health, irrespective of dementia.

  • 16. Eyben, Florian
    et al.
    Scherer, Klaus R.
    Schuller, Björn W.
    Sundberg, Johan
    André, Elisabeth
    Busso, Carlos
    Devillers, Laurence Y.
    Epps, Julien
    Laukka, Petri
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Narayanan, Shrikanth S.
    Truong, Khiet P.
    The Geneva Minimalistic Acoustic Parameter Set (GeMAPS) for Voice Research and Affective Computing2016In: IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, ISSN 1949-3045, E-ISSN 1949-3045, Vol. 7, no 2, 190-202 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Work on voice sciences over recent decades has led to a proliferation of acoustic parameters that are used quite selectively and are not always extracted in a similar fashion. With many independent teams working in different research areas, shared standards become an essential safeguard to ensure compliance with state-of-the-art methods allowing appropriate comparison of results across studies and potential integration and combination of extraction and recognition systems. In this paper we propose a basic standard acoustic parameter set for various areas of automatic voice analysis, such as paralinguistic or clinical speech analysis. In contrast to a large brute-force parameter set, we present a minimalistic set of voice parameters here. These were selected based on a) their potential to index affective physiological changes in voice production, b) their proven value in former studies as well as their automatic extractability, and c) their theoretical significance. The set is intended to provide a common baseline for evaluation of future research and eliminate differences caused by varying parameter sets or even different implementations of the same parameters. Our implementation is publicly available with the openSMILE toolkit. Comparative evaluations of the proposed feature set and large baseline feature sets of INTERSPEECH challenges show a high performance of the proposed set in relation to its size.

  • 17. Finkel, Deborah
    et al.
    Reynolds, Chandra A.
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Gatz, Margaret
    Pedersen, Nancy L.
    Both Odor Identification and ApoE-epsilon 4 Contribute to Normative Cognitive Aging2011In: Psychology and Aging, ISSN 0882-7974, E-ISSN 1939-1498, Vol. 26, no 4, 872-883 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Research indicates that apoliprotein E (ApoE) plays a role in the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and possibly in the cognitive decline associated with normative aging. More recently, researchers have shown that ApoE is expressed in olfactory brain structures, and a relationship among ApoE, AD, and olfactory function has been proposed. In the current analyses, we investigated the contribution of ApoE and odor identification in decline trajectories associated with normative cognitive aging in various domains, using longitudinal data on cognitive performance available from the Swedish Adoption/Twin Study of Aging. Data on both ApoE status and olfactory functioning were available from 455 individuals ranging in age from 50 to 88 years at the first measurement occasion. Odor identification was measured via a mailed survey. Cognitive performance was assessed in up to 5 waves of in-person testing covering a period of 16 years. Latent growth curve analyses incorporating odor identification and ApoE status indicated a main effect of odor identification on the performance level in three cognitive domains: verbal, memory, and speed. A main effect of ApoE on rates of decline after age 65 was found for verbal, spatial, and speed factors. The consistency of results across cognitive domains provides support for theories that posit central nervous system-wide origins of the olfaction-cognition-ApoE relationship; however, olfactory errors and APOE epsilon 4 show unique and differential effects on cognitive trajectory features.

  • 18. Flohr, E. L. R.
    et al.
    Arshamian, Artin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Wieser, M. J.
    Hummel, C.
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Muehlberger, A.
    Hummel, T.
    THE FATE OF THE INNER NOSE: ODOR IMAGERY IN PATIENTS WITH OLFACTORY LOSS2014In: Neuroscience, ISSN 0306-4522, E-ISSN 1873-7544, Vol. 268, 118-127 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Cerebral activations during olfactory mental imagery are fairly well investigated in healthy participants but little attention has been given to olfactory imagery in patients with olfactory loss. To explore whether olfactory loss leads to deficits in olfactory imagery, neural responses using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and self-report measures were investigated in 16 participants with acquired olfactory loss and 19 control participants. Participants imagined both pleasant and unpleasant odors and their visual representations. Patients reported less vivid olfactory but not visual images than controls. Results from neuroimaging revealed that activation patterns differed between patients and controls. While the control group showed stronger activation in olfactory brain regions for unpleasant compared to pleasant odors, the patient group did not. Also, activation in critical areas for olfactory imagery was correlated with the duration of olfactory dysfunction, indicating that the longer the duration of dysfunction, the more the attentional resources were employed. This indicates that participants with olfactory loss have difficulties to perform olfactory imagery in the conventional way. Regular exposure to olfactory information may be necessary to maintain an olfactory imagery capacity.

  • 19. Gall, Kelly
    et al.
    van Zutven, Kim
    Lindström, Joanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Bentley, Caroline
    Gratwick-Sarll, Kassandra
    Harrison, Carmel
    Lewis, Vivienne
    Mond, Jonathan
    Obesity and emotional well-being in adolescents: Roles of body dissatisfaction, loss of control eating, and self-rated health2016In: Obesity, ISSN 1930-7381, E-ISSN 1930-739X, Vol. 24, no 4, 837-842 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    ObjectiveWeak or inconsistent association between obesity and impairment in emotional well-being in population-based samples has led to efforts to identify mediating variables. This study examined the relative importance of body dissatisfaction (BD), loss of control (LOC) eating, and self-rated health (SRH) in mediating the association between obesity and impairment in emotional well-being in a school-based sample of adolescents (boys, n=437; girls, n=950). MethodsModerated mediation analysis was employed to assess the relative importance of the putative mediating variables and moderation of mediation effects by sex following the methods suggested by Hayes and coworkers. ResultsBD and SRH, but not LOC eating, were found to mediate the association between obesity and impairment in emotional well-being. Stronger mediation effects were observed for BD than for SRH. None of these results was moderated by sex. ConclusionsThe findings suggest that it may be important to target BD in obesity prevention and treatment programs in order to reduce the adverse impact of excess body weight on young people's emotional well-being.

  • 20.
    Hedner, Margareta
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Arnold, Nancy
    Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Dresden Medical School, Dresden, Germany.
    Zucco, Gesualdo M.
    University of Padova, Padova, Italy.
    Hummel, Thomas
    Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Dresden Medical School, Dresden, Germany.
    Cognitive factors in odor detection, odor discrimination, and odor identification tasks2010In: Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, ISSN 1380-3395, E-ISSN 1744-411X, Vol. 32, no 10, 1062-1067 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this study was to determine cognitive correlates of olfactory performance across three different tasks. A total of 170 men and women (30-87 years of age) were assessed in olfactory sensitivity, discrimination, and identification. Also, participants were tested in a range of cognitive tests covering executive functioning, semantic memory, and episodic memory. Hierarchical regression analyses showed that proficiency in executive functioning and semantic memory contributed significantly to odor discrimination and identification performance, whereas all of the cognitive factors proved unrelated to performance in the odor threshold test. This pattern of outcome suggests that an individual's cognitive profile exerts a reliable influence on performance in higher order olfactory tasks.

  • 21.
    Hedner, Margareta
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Nilsson, Lars-Göran
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
    Olofsson, Jonas K.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Bergman, Olle
    Department of Pharmacology, Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden.
    Eriksson, Elias
    Department of Pharmacology, Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden.
    Nyberg, Lars
    Department of Radiation Sciences and Integrative Medical Biology, Umeå, Sweden.
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Age-Related Olfactory Decline is Associated with the BDNF Val66met Polymorphism: Evidence from a Population-Based Study2010In: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, ISSN 1663-4365, Vol. 2, no 7, 24- p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The present study investigates the effect of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) val66met polymorphism on change in olfactory function in a large scale, longitudinal population-based sample (n = 836). The subjects were tested on a 13 item force-choice odor identification test on two test occasions over a 5-year-interval. Sex, education, health-related factors, and semantic ability were controlled for in the statistical analyses. Results showed an interaction effect of age and BDNF val66met on olfactory change, such that the magnitude of olfactory decline in the older age cohort (70–90years old at baseline) was larger for the val homozygote carriers than for the met carriers. The older met carriers did not display larger age-related decline in olfactory function compared to the younger group. The BDNF val66met polymorphism did not affect the rate of decline in the younger age cohort (45–65years). The findings are discussed in the light of the proposed roles of BDNF in neural development and maintenance.

  • 22.
    Kallioinen, Petter
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Phonetics. Lund University, Sweden.
    Olofsson, Jonas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Nakeva von Mentzer, Cecilia
    Lindgren, Magnus
    Ors, Marianne
    Sahlén, Birgitta S.
    Lyxell, Björn
    Engström, Elisabet
    Uhlén, Inger
    Semantic Processing in Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children: Large N400 Mismatch Effects in Brain Responses, Despite Poor Semantic Ability2016In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 7, 1146Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Difficulties in auditory and phonological processing affect semantic processing in speech comprehension for deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) children. However, little is known about brain responses related to semantic processing in this group. We investigated event-related potentials (ERPs) in DHH children with cochlear implants (CIs) and/or hearing aids (HAs), and in normally hearing controls (NH). We used a semantic priming task with spoken word primes followed by picture targets. In both DHH children and controls, cortical response differences between matching and mismatching targets revealed a typical N400 effect associated with semantic processing. Children with CI had the largest mismatch response despite poor semantic abilities overall; Children with CI also had the largest ERP differentiation between mismatch types, with small effects in within-category mismatch trials (target from same category as prime) and large effects in between-category mismatch trials (where target is from a different category than prime), compared to matching trials. Children with NH and HA had similar responses to both mismatch types. While the large and differentiated ERP responses in the CI group were unexpected and should be interpreted with caution, the results could reflect less precision in semantic processing among children with CI, or a stronger reliance on predictive processing.

  • 23. Konstantinidis, Iordanis
    et al.
    Hummel, Thomas
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Identification of unpleasant odors is independent of age.2006In: Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, ISSN 0887-6177, Vol. 21, no 7, 615-621 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this study was to investigate (a) the relationship between identification proficiency for specific odors and chronological age and (b) to determine whether the relationships were related to perceived quality (i.e., judgments of familiarity, intensity, and hedonics) of the odor item. Data from 472 subjects (227 men, 245 women) ranging in age from 18-79 years were assessed in a cued identification test comprising 16 odors. The results indicated a reliable age effect in overall odor identification performance. Further analyses indicated that the observed age-related deficit was odorant-specific, with some odors being equally well identified across age cohorts and others showing sensitivity to the process of aging. Additional examination regarding the observed age-differential effects across the different odor types indicated that these may be understood according to the pleasantness/upleasantness associated with the odor. Specifically, odors perceived as unpleasant showed age invariance whereas odors rated as pleasant exhibited age sensitivity.

  • 24.
    Kubik, Veit
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
    Olofsson, Jonas K.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics. Swedish Collegium of Advanced Study, Sweden.
    Nilsson, Lars-Göran
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI). Stockholm Brain Institute, Stockholm; Umeå University, Sweden.
    Jönsson, Fredrik U.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
    Putting action memory to the test: Testing affects subsequent restudy but not long-term forgetting of action events2016In: Journal of Cognitive Psychology, ISSN 2044-5911, E-ISSN 2044-592X, Vol. 28, no 2, 209-219 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Testing memory typically enhances subsequent re-encoding of information (“indirect” testing effect) and, as compared to restudy, it also benefits later long-term retention (“direct” testing effect). We investigated the effect of testing on subsequent restudy and 1-week retention of action events (e.g. “water the plant”). In addition, we investigated if the type of recall practice (noun-cued vs. verb-cued) moderates these testing benefits. The results showed an indirect testing effect that increased following noun-cued recall of verbs as compared to verb-cued recall of nouns. In contrast, a direct testing effect on the forgetting rate of performed actions was not reliably observed, neither for noun- nor verb-cued recall. Thus, to the extent that this study successfully dissociated direct and indirect testing-based enhancements, they seem to be differentially effective for performed actions, and may rely on partially different mechanisms.

  • 25.
    Larsson, Maria
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Ekström, Ingrid
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Sjölund, Sara
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Nordin, Steven
    Nordin Adolfsson, Annelie
    Adolfsson, Rolf
    Nilsson, Lars-Göran
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
    Olofsson, Jonas K.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Loss of Olfactory Function Predicts Mortality Irrespective of Dementia Conversion: 10-year follow-up of an age-varied sample2016In: 17th International Symposium on Olfaction and Taste (ISOT2016), Yokohama, Japan, June 5-9, 2016. Chemical Senses, 41(9), Oxford University Press, 2016, Vol. 41(9), E216- p.Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The objective of this study was to examine the association between performance in odor identification and future mortality in a community cohort of adults aged between 40 and 90 years. We assessed olfactory performance with a 13-item-version of the Scandinavian Odor Identification Test (SOIT). The results showed that during follow-up (mean=9.4 years, standard deviation=2.23), 411 of 1774 (23.2%) participants died. In a Cox model, the association between higher SOIT score and mortality was highly significant (hazard ratio [HR]=0.74, per point interval, 95% confidence interval [CI]=0.71–0.77, p<0.001). The effect was attenuated, but remained significant after controlling for age, sex, education, and health and cognitive variables that were also associated with an increased risk of mortality (HR=0.92, 95% CI=0.87–0.97, p=0.001). Controlling for dementia conversion prior to death did not attenuate the association between SOIT score and mortality (HR=0.92, 95% CI=0.87–0.97, p=0.001). Similar results were obtained for olfactory sensitivity as assessed by self-report. Overall, the present findings show that poor odor identification performance is associated with an increased likelihood of future mortality in middle-aged and older adults, after controlling for social, cognitive, and medical risk factors. Most importantly, controlling for the development of dementia did not attenuate the association between odor identification and mortality, suggesting that olfactory decline might mark deteriorating health also irrespective of dementia.

  • 26.
    Larsson, Maria
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics. Stockholm Brain Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Farde, L.
    Karolinska Institutet.
    Hummel, T.
    University of Dresden Medical School.
    Witt, M.
    University of Dresden Medical School.
    Erixon Lindroth, N.
    Karolinska Institutet.
    Bäckman, Lars
    Karolinska Institutet.
    Age-related loss of olfactory sensitivity: Association to dopamine transporter binding in putamen2009In: Neuroscience, ISSN 0306-4522, E-ISSN 1873-7544, Vol. 161, no 2, 422-426 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The relationship between age-related reductions in the binding potential for the striatal dopamine transporter (DAT) and age-related deficits in olfactory sensitivity was examined in 12 subjects ranging from 36 to 82 years of age. Positron emission tomography (PET) and the radioligand [11C]β-CIT-FE were used to determine DAT binding in two striatal regions, the caudate and the putamen. The results showed age-related losses of DAT binding from early to late adulthood of similar size for caudate and putamen, and there was a pronounced age deterioration in olfactory sensitivity. Importantly, the age-related olfactory deficit was associated with reductions in DAT binding in putamen, but not caudate. Also, DAT binding in putamen added systematic variance in odor threshold after controlling for age. The findings indicate that DAT binding in putamen is related to age-related olfactory deficits, as well as to odor sensitivity independently of age.

  • 27.
    Larsson, Maria
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Hedner, Margareta
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Olofsson, Jonas K.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Differential Age and Sex Effects in Semantic Recognition of Odors and Words2009In: Acta Psychologica Sinica, ISSN 0439-755X, Vol. 41, no 11, 1049-1053 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study examined the impact of age and sex on olfactory function as determined by a cued odor identification test and on semantic knowledge as indexed by a vocabulary test using a large population-based sample. 1497 healthy adults varying in age from 35 to 95 years were assessed in odor identification and in vocabulary proficiency. The results showed that aging exhibited negative repercussions on performance in both tests, although the age effect was stronger in the olfactory task. Corroborating previous observations, females identified more odors than men irrespective of age. The implications of the findings are discussed.

  • 28.
    Larsson, Maria
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Hedner, Margareta
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Papenberg, Goran
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Seubert, Janina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Bäckman, Lars
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Laukka, Erika J.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Olfactory memory in the old and very old: relations to episodic and semantic memory and APOE genotype2016In: Neurobiology of Aging, ISSN 0197-4580, E-ISSN 1558-1497, Vol. 38, 118-126 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The neuroanatomical organization that underlies olfactory memory is different from that of other memory types. The present work examines olfactory memory in an elderly population-based sample (Swedish National Study on Aging and Care in Kungsholmen) aged 60-100 years (n = 2280). We used structural equation modeling to investigate whether olfactory memory in old age is best conceptualized as a distinct category, differentiated from episodic and semantic memory. Further, potential olfactory dedifferentiation and genetic associations (APOE) to olfactory function in late senescence were investigated. Results are in support of a 3-factor solution where olfactory memory, as indexed by episodic odor recognition and odor identification, is modeled separately from episodic and semantic memory for visual and verbal information. Increasing age was associated with poorer olfactory memory performance, and observed age-related deficits were further exacerbated for carriers of the APOE epsilon 4 allele; these effects tended to be larger for olfactory memory compared to episodic and semantic memory pertaining to other sensory systems (vision, auditory). Finally, stronger correlations between olfactory and episodic memory, indicating dedifferentiation, were observed in the older age groups.

  • 29.
    Larsson, Maria
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Lundin, Anders
    Wahlin, Tarja-Brita Robins
    Olfactory functions in asymptomatic carriers of the Huntington disease mutation.2006In: Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, ISSN 1380-3395, Vol. 28, no 8, 1373-1380 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Huntington’s disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disorder initially affecting the basal ganglia and especially the head of the caudate nucleus. Neuropsychological research has indicated that olfactory dysfunction may appear early in HD, prior to the onset of significant motor or cognitive dysfunction. The aim of this study was to examine whether asymptomatic carriers of the Huntington disease mutation also exhibit olfactory dysfunction. To address this issue we presented an extensive olfactory test battery comprising tasks assessing olfactory sensitivity, intensity discrimination, quality discrimination, episodic odor memory, and odor identification, to a group of gene carriers and non-mutation carriers of the disease. The results showed that gene carriers were selectively impaired in discriminating odor quality, although performance did not differ from non-carriers across the other tasks. The role played by striatum and then in particular the caudate nucleus for olfactory processing in general, and for odor quality discrimination in particular, is discussed.

  • 30.
    Larsson, Maria
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Willander, Johan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Autobiographical Odor Memory2009In: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, ISSN 0077-8923, E-ISSN 1749-6632, Vol. 1170, 318-323 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This overview focuses on autobiographical odor memory and how information evoked by the olfactory sense may differ from memories evoked by visual or verbal information. Three key topics are addressed: (a) age distributions of evoked memories; (b) phenomenological experience; and (c) semantic processing. Current evidence suggests that memories triggered by olfactory information are localized to the first decade of life (< 10 years) rather than to young adulthood (10–30 years) which is the typical finding for memories evoked by verbal and visual information. Further, empirical evidence indicates that odor evoked memories are more emotional, associated with stronger feelings of being brought back in time, and have been thought of less often as compared to memories evoked by other sensory cues. Finally, previous observations of a significant impact of semantic influences on olfactory processing may also be generalized to retrieval of odor evoked autobiographical information. Specifically, both the age distribution and phenomenological qualities are affected by explicit knowledge of the odor cue. Taken together, the overall pattern of findings indicates that personal memories evoked by olfactory information are different from memories evoked by verbal or visual information.

  • 31.
    Larsson, Maria
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Willander, Johan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Karlsson, Kristina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
    Arshamian, Artin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Olfactory LOVER: behavioral and neural correlates of autobiographical odor memory2014In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 5, 312Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Autobiographical memories (AMs) are personally experienced events that may be localized in time and space. In the present work we present an overview targeting memories evoked by the sense of smell. Overall, research indicates that autobiographical odor memory is different than memories evoked by our primary sensory systems; sight, and hearing. Here, observed differences from a behavioral and neuroanatomical perspective are presented. The key features of an olfactory evoked AM may be referred to the LOVER acronym-Limbic, Old, Vivid, Emotional, and Rare.

  • 32.
    Larsson, Maria
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Öberg, Christina
    Bäckman, Lars
    Odor identification in old age: Demographic, Sensory and Cognitive Correlates.2005In: Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, ISSN 1382-5585, Vol. 12, no 3, 231-244 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    he purpose of this study was to determine correlates of odor identification in old age. One hundred and thirty-two men and women (60-91 years) were assessed in a number of tasks tapping sensory acuity (i.e., odor sensitivity, intensity discrimination, quality discrimination) and different cognitive abilities (i.e., perceptual speed, executive functioning, verbal fluency). Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that age, female sex, olfactory sensitivity, quality discrimination, cognitive speed, and verbal fluency were the most potent correlates of odor identification in general. In addition, the age-related variance in odor identification was eliminated when age-related deficits in odor sensitivity, quality discrimination, and perceptual speed were taken into account. This pattern of outcome suggests that age-related differences in these abilities underlie the well-established age impairment in odor identification.

  • 33.
    Larsson, Maria
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Öberg, Christina
    Bäckman, Lars
    Recollective experience in odor recognition: Influences of adult age and familiarity.2006In: Psychological Research, ISSN 0340-0727, Vol. 70, no 1, 68-75 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We examined recollective experience in odor memory as a function of age, intention to learn, and familiarity. Young and older adults studied a set of familiar and unfamiliar odors with incidental or intentional encoding instructions. At recognition, participants indicated whether their response was based on explicit recollection (remembering), a feeling of familiarity (knowing), or guessing. The results indicated no age-related differences in the distribution of experiential responses for unfamiliar odors. By contrast, for familiar odors the young demonstrated more explicit recollection than the old adults, who produced more know and guess responses. Intention to learn was unrelated to recollective experience. In addition, the observed age differences in remember responses for familiar odors were eliminated when odor naming was statistically controlled. This suggests that age-related deficits in activating specific odor knowledge (i.e., odor names) play an important role for age differences in recollective experience for olfactory information.

  • 34.
    Larsson, Maria
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Öberg-Blåvarg, Christina
    Uppsala Universitet.
    Jönsson, Fredrik U.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
    Bad odors stick better than good ones: Olfactory qualities and odor recognition2009In: Experimental psychology (Göttingen), ISSN 1618-3169, E-ISSN 2190-5142, Vol. 56, no 6, 375-380 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The influences of perceived odor qualities on the retention of olfactory information across the adult lifespan were examined. Young (19–36 years), young-old (60–74 years), and old (75–91 years) adults (n = 202) rated a set of unfamiliar odors across a series of perceptual dimensions (i.e., pleasantness, intensity, and irritability) at encoding. The overall results indicated that memory for unpleasant olfactory information was better than that for pleasant odors across the lifespan. Also, participants showed better retention for odors perceived with high intensity and irritability than for odors rated with low or medium scores. Interestingly, the old adults showed selective beneficial memory effects for odors rated as highly irritable. To the extent that perceptions of high irritability reflect an activation of the trigeminal sensory system, this finding suggests that older adults may use trigeminal components in odor information to compensate for age-related impairments in olfactory memory.

  • 35.
    Liuzza, Marco Tullio
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Personality, Social and Developmental Psychology.
    Lindholm, Torun
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Personality, Social and Developmental Psychology.
    Hawley, C.
    Gustafsson Sendén, Marie
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Personality, Social and Developmental Psychology.
    Ekström, Ingrid
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Olsson, M. J.
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Olofsson, Jonas K.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Body odor disgust sensitivity independently predicts authoritarian attitudes2016Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The behavioral immune system (BIS) provides us a set of emotional and behavioral responses to avoid the threat of pathogens. Individual differences in BIS can make some individuals endorse social values that minimize the contact with groups that might be perceived unfamiliar or deviant. Disgust is one of the emotions that is most consistently involved in the BIS and it has been found to be consistently related to socially conservative attitudes. Disgust sensitivity to body odors plays a crucial role in the BIS but it has been largely understated by research linking disgust sensitivity. We the developed a new scale that measures individual differences in body odors disgust sensitivity (BODS) and assessed how this measure related to conservative attitudes. We hypothesized that the BODS should relate to social, but not economic, conservatism, as only the latter should share common motives with the BIS. Furthermore, we hypothesized that the BODS should share more core motives with conservatism and thus it should at least partially mediate the relationship between general disgust sensitivity measures and conservatism. We developed a 30 items measure of BODS where participants had to rate how they would feel disgusted in five different scenarios involving six body odors consistently linked to disease detection. We ran three studies (N = 200, N = 159 and N = 269) through Amazon Mechanical Turk where we collected participants’ differences in: BODS, three domains of disgust (TDD) (studies 1-3), disgust sensitivity (DS, studies 2-3), Perceived Vulnerability to Disease (PVD, studies 2-3) and in social conservatism (Right-Wing Authoritarianism RWA, studies 1-3) and economic conservatism (Social Dominance Orientation, SDO, study 3). We ran zero order correlations to assess the relationship between BODS, other Disgust Sensitivity measures and conservatism measures. Akaike Information Criterion based stepwise model selection procedures were used to identify the variables that mostly accounted for participants’ variance in conservatism. Mediation analyses were ran to test the hypothesis that BODS could mediate, at least partially the relationship between general disgust sensitivity measures and conservatism.

    Results: Across three studies we found that 1) BODS has good convergent validity with other measures of general disgust sensitivity (Studies 1-3) 2) BODS is consistently and independently related to RWA even when taking into account DS-R and/or TDD (Studies 1-3) 3) BODS relates to social, but not economic conservatism 4) BODS at least partially mediates the relationship between general disgust sensitivity measures and social conservatism (Studies 1-3). Our results show that body odor disgust sensitivity independently predicts socially conservative attitudes, and our findings suggest that the study of the biological basis of social attitudes would benefit from an increased focus on basic sensory-emotional processes. While our approach is broadly congruent with current theoretical frameworks emphasizing the evolutionary roots of disgust in basic chemosensory processes, an increased empirical focus on body odor perception might provide a unique link between pathogen detection and social regulation mechanisms.

  • 36.
    Liuzza, Marco Tullio
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Personality, Social and Developmental Psychology.
    Lindholm, Torun
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Personality, Social and Developmental Psychology.
    Hawley, Caitlin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Gustafsson Sendén, Marie
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Personality, Social and Developmental Psychology.
    Ekström, Ingrid
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Olsson, Mats J.
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Olofsson, Jonas K.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics. Swedish Collegium of Advanced Study, Sweden.
    The Body Odor Disgust Scale (BODS): Development and Validation of a Novel Olfactory Disgust Assessment2017In: Chemical Senses, ISSN 0379-864X, E-ISSN 1464-3553, Vol. 42, no 6, 499-508 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Disgust plays a crucial role in the avoidance of pathogen threats. In many species, body odors provide important information related to health and disease, and body odors are potent elicitors of disgust in humans. With this background, valid assessments of body odor disgust sensitivity are warranted. In the present article, we report the development and psychometric validation of the Body Odor Disgust Scale (BODS), a measure suited to assess individual differences in disgust reaction to a variety of body odors. Collected data from 3 studies (total n = 528) show that the scale can be used either as a unidimensional scale or as a scale that reflects two hypothesized factors: sensitivity to one's own body odors versus those of others. Guided by our results, we reduced the scale to 12 items that capture the essence of these 2 factors. The final version of the BODS shows an excellent internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha s > 0.9). The BODS subscales show convergent validity with other general disgust scales, as well as with other olfactory functions measures and with aspects of personality that are related to pathogen avoidance. A fourth study confirmed the construct validity of the BODS and its measurement invariance to gender. Moreover, we found that, compared with other general disgust scales, the BODS is more strongly related to perceived vulnerability to disease. The BODS is a brief and valid assessment of trait body odor disgust sensitivity.

  • 37.
    Liuzza, Marco Tullio
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Personality, Social and Developmental Psychology. Magna Graecia University of Catanzaro, Italy.
    Olofsson, Jonas K.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics. Swedish Collegium of Advanced Study, Sweden.
    Sabiniewicz, Agnieszka
    Sorokowska, Agnieszka
    Body Odor Trait Disgust Sensitivity Predicts Perception of Sweat Biosamples2017In: Chemical Senses, ISSN 0379-864X, E-ISSN 1464-3553, Vol. 42, no 6, 479-485 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Body odors are potent triggers of disgust and regulate social behaviors in many species. The role of olfaction in disgust-associated behaviors has received scant attention in the research literature, in part because olfactory disgust assessments have required laboratory testing with odors. We have devised the Body Odor Disgust Scale (BODS) to facilitate research on olfactory disgust. In this study, we evaluated whether individual differences in BODS scores would be associated with the perception of disgust for sweat samples in a laboratory setting. Results show that BODS was a strong predictor of disgust ratings of sweat samples even when controlling for general disgust sensitivity. In contrast, odor intensity ratings were unrelated to BODS scores. Our findings suggest that the BODS scores reflect body odor disgust perception. The BODS scale might facilitate research on olfactory disgust responses and associated behaviors.

  • 38. Lundström, Johan N
    et al.
    Frasnelli, Johannes
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Hummel, Thomas
    Sex differentiated responses to intranasal trigeminal stimuli.2005In: International Journal of Psychophysiology, ISSN 0167-8760, Vol. 57, no 3, 181-186 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of the study was to address sex-related hemispheric differences in trigeminal event-related potentials while controlling for the subjects' olfactory sensitivity. Event-related potentials to lateralized stimulation using the trigeminal stimulant CO-sub-2 were recorded in 28 healthy young subjects (16 women). There was no sex-related difference in olfactory sensitivity. Results indicated a sex-differentiated response to trigeminally induced pain. Women were found to have generally higher amplitudes and shorter latencies of the late positive component than men. Moreover, men and women exhibited different hemispheric activations in that women expressed shorter latencies over the left hemisphere than men. The pronounced sex-related difference of the late positive component suggests a cognitive/emotional impact on the processing of intranasal pain as indicated by others.

  • 39. Lundén, Peter
    et al.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Hurtig, Malin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    On urban soundscape mapping: A computer can predict the outcome of soundscape assessments2016In: Proceedings of the Inter-Noise 2016, 2016, 4725-4732 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this study was to investigate whether or not a computer may predict the outcome of soundscape assessments, based on acoustic data only. It may be argued that this is impossible, because a computer lack life experience. Moreover, if the computer was able to make an accurate prediction, we also wanted to know what information it needed to make this prediction. We recruited 33 students (18 female; Mage = 25.4 yrs., SDage = 3.6) out of which 30 assessed how pleasant and eventful 102 unique soundscape excerpts (30 s) from Stockholm were. Based on the Bag of Frames approach, a Support Vector Regression learning algorithm was used to identify relationships between various acoustic features of the acoustics signals and perceived affective quality. We found that the Mel-Frequency Cepstral Coefficients provided strong predictions for both Pleasantness (R2 = 0.74) and Eventfulness (R2 = 0.83). This model performed better than the average individual in the experiment in terms of internal consistency of individual assessments. Taken together, the results show that a computer can predict the outcome of soundscape assessments, which is promising for future soundscape mapping.

  • 40. Magnussen, S.
    et al.
    Andersson, J.
    Cornoldi, C.
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Nilsson, Lars-Göran
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
    What people believe about memory.2006In: Memory, ISSN 0965-8211, Vol. 14, no 5, 595-613 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Two representative samples of adult Norwegians (n = 2000) were asked a set of general and specific questions regarding their beliefs and opinions about human memory. The results indicate that on many questions, such as time of the earliest memories, inhibiting effects of collaboration, and memory for dramatic versus ordinary events, the views of the general public concurred with current research findings, and people in general had realistic views about their own memory performance. On other questions, such as the reliability of olfactory as compared with visual and auditory memory, the memory of small children in comparison with that of adults, the likelihood of repression of adult traumatic memories, and on more general questions such as the possibility of training memory and the capacity limitations of long-term memory, a large proportion of the participants expressed views that are less supported by scientific evidence. Implications of these findings are briefly discussed.

  • 41. Margaritis, E.
    et al.
    Aletta, F.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Kang, K.
    Botteldooren, D.
    Singh, R.N.
    Soundscape mapping in the urban context: A case study in Sheffield2015In: Book of Proceedings AESOP Prague Annual Congress 2015: Definite Space – Fuzzy Responsibility / [ed] M. Macoun & K. Maier, 2015, 962-974 p.Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    According to the recently published ISO 12913-1, soundscape differs from the acoustic environment, since the first refers to a perceptual construct, whilst the latter to a physical phenomenon. Noise exposure has been a main concern over the last decades, but from the planning viewpoint limited attention has been given to the perception of the acoustic environment and its representation at a city scale. This paper aims to establish a method for representing soundscape through source-related maps and secondly to correlate the sound sources with the urban context in terms of specific activities. Using a grid-based sampling methodology within the broader area of Sheffield city centre, soundscape data were collected in 90 spots, during morning and evening hours. Afterwards, soundscape variability for technological, anthropic and natural sounds was represented by maps using a Kriging interpolation technique in GIS. Preliminary results show how sound sources’ spatial variation in urban soundscapes is closely related to urban contexts and activities, therefore urban activities can be relevant for designing the soundscape of the urban realm. The paper ultimately points out how soundscape mapping can be used as a tool for planning purposes and urges to rethink the design process of the built environment also from the sonic viewpoint.

  • 42. Nilsson, Johanna
    et al.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Visual Aesthetic Perceptions and Preferences in Conserved Objects of Plain Silk: Comparison of Three Conservation Methods2016In: Perceptual and Motor Skills, ISSN 0031-5125, E-ISSN 1558-688X, Vol. 122, no 3, 777-798 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Three conservation methods were executed on bonnets in plain monochrome silk, to investigate which method is perceived as the most visually aesthetic; 11 bonnets were produced, 10 given identical damages, and 9 were conserved, 3 with each method. The damage was secured onto a support fabric with laid couching, a long stitch fastened with short perpendicular stitches, or brick couching, short stitches placed like brick-work, or covered with crepeline (a semi-transparent silk). The participants were 30 Swedish textile conservators (29 women; ages 29-78 years, M = 51.9, SD = 12.9), and 30 museum visitors (20 women; ages 15-74 years, M = 41.1, SD = 18.3). The participants' task was to rate the bonnets on a 100-point continuous preference scale, based on how visually attractive they found each bonnet. Preferences were compared between the two groups of participants and the conservation methods. The bonnets with crepeline were the most preferred, and those with laid couching were the least preferred, among both groups of participants.

  • 43.
    Nilsson, Mats E.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Schenkman, Bo N.
    Blind people are more sensitive than sighted people to binaural sound-location cues, particularly inter-aural level differences2016In: Hearing Research, ISSN 0378-5955, E-ISSN 1878-5891, Vol. 332, 223-232 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Blind people use auditory information to locate sound sources and sound-reflecting objects (echolocation). Sound source localization benefits from the hearing system's ability to suppress distracting sound reflections, whereas echolocation would benefit from “unsuppressing” these reflections. To clarify how these potentially conflicting aspects of spatial hearing interact in blind versus sighted listeners, we measured discrimination thresholds for two binaural location cues: inter-aural level differences (ILDs) and inter-aural time differences (ITDs). The ILDs or ITDs were present in single clicks, in the leading component of click pairs, or in the lagging component of click pairs, exploiting processes related to both sound source localization and echolocation. We tested 23 blind (mean age = 54 y), 23 sighted-age-matched (mean age = 54 y), and 42 sighted-young (mean age = 26 y) listeners. The results suggested greater ILD sensitivity for blind than for sighted listeners. The blind group's superiority was particularly evident for ILD-lag-click discrimination, suggesting not only enhanced ILD sensitivity in general but also increased ability to unsuppress lagging clicks. This may be related to the blind person's experience of localizing reflected sounds, for which ILDs may be more efficient than ITDs. On the ITD-discrimination tasks, the blind listeners performed better than the sighted age-matched listeners, but not better than the sighted young listeners. ITD sensitivity declines with age, and the equal performance of the blind listeners compared to a group of substantially younger listeners is consistent with the notion that blind people's experience may offset age-related decline in ITD sensitivity.

  • 44.
    Olofsson, Jonas K.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics. Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, Sweden.
    Josefsson, Maria
    Ekström, Ingrid
    Wilson, Donald
    Nyberg, Lars
    Nordin, Steven
    Nordin Adolfsson, Annelie
    Adolfsson, Rolf
    Nilsson, Lars-Göran
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Long-term episodic memory decline is associated with olfactory deficits only in carriers of ApoE-є42016In: Neuropsychologia, ISSN 0028-3932, E-ISSN 1873-3514, Vol. 85, 1-9 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The ɛ4 allele of the Apolipoprotein E gene is a genetic risk factor for late-onset dementia of the Alzheimers' type (DAT), which is characterized by loss of both episodic memoryand olfactory functions. Little is known about the possible role of ɛ4 in the association between ongoing episodic memory decline and olfactory deficits in the general population, but such information is relevant in determining the relevance of olfaction as a marker of DAT risk. The present study was based on a large, population-based sample (n=1087, aged 45–90 years, of which 324 were ɛ4-carriers). Episodic memory change rates were established using data collected every 5 years for a 10–20 year interval leading up to an olfactory assessment using the Scandinavian Odor Identification Test at the last wave of data collection. Participants were classified according to whether or not their episodic memory ability declined more rapidly than the age-typical norm (by >1SD). Our main result is that only in ɛ4-carriers was episodic memory decline associated with odor identification impairment. In individuals without ɛ4, odor identification was unrelated to episodic memory decline status. Follow-up analyses indicated that this moderation by ɛ4 was due to the olfactory nature of the identification test, and that the effect was not caused by 63 individuals with dementia. Our results suggest that the ɛ4 determines the functional association between ongoing episodic memory decline and olfaction. These findings are consistent with the notion that ɛ4-carriers with DAT, compared to non-carriers, display a cortical atrophy pattern that is more focused on mediotemporal lobe regions supporting olfactory and episodic memory functions. Olfactory and memory assessments might provide complementary information on mediotemporal atrophy prior to clinical dementia onset, but the ɛ4 should be considered when using olfactory assessment as an early-stage indicator.

  • 45.
    Olofsson, Jonas K.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Niedenthal, Simon
    Ehrndal, Marie
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Zakrzewska, Marta
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Wartel, Andreas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Beyond Smell-O-Vision: Possibilities for Smell-Based Digital Media2017In: Journal Simulation & Gaming, ISSN 1046-8781, E-ISSN 1552-826X, Vol. 48, no 4, 455-479 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Research Problem: The purpose of this research synthesis is to identify new opportunities for smell-enabled games based upon current olfactory research, and to present early game concepts that have emerged from our empirical assessments.

    Literature Review: We briefly summarize key projects in the history of scent technologies for film and media. Human-Computer Interaction researchers have also explored a number of uses for scent delivery in interactive digital media. Recent developments in olfactory psychology and neuroscience research suggest that a fruitful avenue for exploration is to develop learning games that expand olfactory capacity.

    Methodology: We have conducted two studies of computer-based perceptual and cognitive olfactory tasks. 

    1. Mixture perception experiment: We designed a perceptual experiment where the task was to correctly estimate the intensity of odor components in a blend of coffee and tea. Blended odors were presented to 10 healthy adults by means of a computer-controlled olfactometer. Following each stimulation, the participant used a computer interface to estimate the intensity of components of the blend.

    2. Event-based memory experiment: We have developed a digital olfactory version of the children’s game “Memory.” The game interface consists of 32 white squares that are presented in a grid pattern on the screen and that, when participants click on them, triggers the release of one of eight possible smells from the olfactometer. Fifteen healthy adult participants were tested in 10 laboratory sessions distributed over three weeks.

    Results and Conclusions: Our empirical results suggest that smell training through learning games holds promise as a means of improving cognitive function. The results of our event-based memory experiment suggest that both olfactory and visual memory capacities might have benefitted from olfactory game training. The results of our mixture perception experiment indicate that binary odor mixtures might provide a suitable starting point for perceptual training, and we suggest that a smell-enabled game might include adaptive difficulty by progressively introducing more complex mixtures. We have used event-based memory and mixture perception as “olfactory targets” for game mechanic development, and present early design concepts for “Smelly Genes” and “Scenter.” Finally, we discuss future directions and challenges for this new, interdisciplinary research topic.

  • 46.
    Olofsson, Jonas K.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Nordin, Steven
    Umeå universitet.
    Wiens, Stefan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Hedner, Margareta
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Nilsson, Lars-Göran
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Odor identification impairment in carriers of ApoE-epsilon 4 is independent of clinical dementia2010In: Neurobiology of Aging, ISSN 0197-4580, E-ISSN 1558-1497, Vol. 31, no 4, 567-577 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The ApoE acme is expressed in olfactory brain structures and is believed to play a role in neuronal regenerative processes as well as in development of Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common form of dementia The epsilon 4 allele lots been reported to be associated with compromised odor identification ability in the elderly, and this deficit has been interpreted as a sign of pre-diagnostic AD However, because it has not been demonstrated that the relationship between the epsilon 4 allele and odor identification is mediated by dementia, it is possible that the epsilon 4 allele may have an effect on odor identification over and above any effects of dementia. The present study investigated effects of ApoE-status on odor identification in a lame, population-based sample (n =1236) of adults (45-80 years), who were assessed for dementia at time of testing and 5 years later The results showed that the epsilon 4 allele was associated with an odor identification deficit among, elderly participants (75-80) Critically. this effect remained after current and pre-diagnostic dementia, vocabulary, global cognitive status and health variables were partialled out The present results suggest that the ApoE gene plays a role in olfactory functioning that is independent of dementia conversion within 5 years

  • 47.
    Olofsson, Jonas K.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics. Department of Psychology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden; Stockholm Brain Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Rönnlund, Michael
    Umeå universitet, Umeå University.
    Nordin, Steven
    Umeå universitet, Umeå University.
    Nyberg, Lars
    Umeå universitet, Umeå University.
    Nilsson, Lars-Göran
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology. Stockholm Brain Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics. Stockholm Brain Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Odor Identification Deficit as a Predictor of Five-Year Global Cognitive Change: Interactive Effects with Age and ApoE-ε42009In: Behavior Genetics, ISSN 0001-8244, E-ISSN 1573-3297, Vol. 39, no 5, 496-503 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Olfactory impairments are present in common neurodegenerative disorders and predict conversion to dementia in non-demented individuals with cognitive impairment. In cognitively intact elderly, evidence is sparse regarding the role of olfactory deficits in predicting cognitive impairment. The present study investigated predictors of 5-year prospective decline in the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) in a large (n = 501), population-based sample of elderly (65–90 years) individuals. All participants were genotyped for the ApoE gene, assessed for health factors, and were non-demented at the baseline assessment. After partialling out the influences of demographic and health-factors at baseline and dementia at follow-up, poor odor identification ability in combination with older age and the ApoE-ε4 allele predicted larger prospective global cognitive decline. This effect could not be produced by a vocabulary test. In sum, the findings suggest that an olfactory deficit can dissociate between benign and malign global cognitive development in non-demented, very old ε4-carriers, who are at high risk of developing dementia.

  • 48.
    Peira, Nathalie
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Golkar, Armita
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Wiens, Stefan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    What you fear will appear: Detection of schematic spiders in spider fear2010In: Experimental psychology (Göttingen), ISSN 1618-3169, E-ISSN 2190-5142, Vol. 57, no 6, 470-475 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Various experimental tasks suggest that fear guides attention. However, because these tasks often lack ecological validity, it is unclear to what extent results from these tasks can be generalized to real-life situations. In change detection tasks, a brief interruption of the visual input (i.e., a blank interval or a scene cut) often results in undetected changes in the scene. This setup resembles real-life viewing behavior and is used here to increase ecological validity of the attentional task without compromising control over the stimuli presented. Spider-fearful and nonfearful women detected schematic spiders and flowers that were added to one of two identical background pictures that alternated with a brief blank in between them (i.e., flicker paradigm). Results showed that spider-fearful women detected spiders (but not flowers) faster than did nonfearful women. Because spiders and flowers had similar low-level features, these findings suggest that fear guides attention on the basis of object features rather than simple low-level features.

  • 49.
    Peira, Nathalie
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics. Uppsala University, Sweden.
    Ziaei, Maryam
    Persson, Jonas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI). Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
    Age differences in brain systems supporting transient and sustained processes involved in prospective memory and working memory2016In: NeuroImage, ISSN 1053-8119, E-ISSN 1095-9572, Vol. 125, 745-755 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In prospective memory (PM), an intention to act in response to an external event is formed, retained, and at a later stage, when the event occurs, the relevant action is performed. PM typically shows a decline in late adulthood, which might affect functions of daily living. The neural correlates of this decline are not well understood. Here, 15 young (6 female; age range = 23-30 years) and 16 older adults (5 female; age range = 64-74 years) were scanned with fMRI to examine age-related differences in brain activation associated with event-based PM using a task that facilitated the separation of transient and sustained components of PM. We show that older adults had reduced performance in conditions with high demands on prospective and working memory, while no age-difference was observed in low-demanding tasks. Across age groups, PM task performance activated separate sets of brain regions for transient and sustained responses. Age-differences in transient activation were found in fronto-striatal and MTL regions, with young adults showing more activation than older adults. Increased activation in young, compared to older adults, was also found for sustained PM activation in the IFG. These results provide new evidence that PM relies on dissociable transient and sustained cognitive processes, and that age-related deficits in PM can be explained by an inability to recruit PM-related brain networks in old age.

  • 50.
    Pixton, Tonya S.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Hellström, Åke
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Englund, Mats P.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    The non-neutrality of 'neutral' faces: Effect on discriminability of emotional expressionsManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The main purpose of this study was to examine whether ‘neutral’ facial expressions are ratedas neutral. Facial expressions designated as angry, happy, and neutral were rated on anger,happiness, and emotionality. There were no significant differences in mean rating valuesbetween happy and angry faces on their relevant scales; neutral faces were rated somewhatangry and somewhat sad. Therefore, happy faces differed more from neutral faces than didangry faces. Furthermore, the sensitivity measures reported by Pixton (in press) were adjustedusing the mean difference value (MD) on each of the scale types between each genderemotioncombination and its neutral counterpart. The results showed that the general happysuperiorityand angry-male advantage effects disappeared, while angry-female faces weremore difficult to discriminate. These findings suggest that presumably ‘neutral’ faces are notnecessarily neutral, which ultimately may affect the discriminability of emotional facialexpressions.

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