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  • 1.
    Hedner, Margareta
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Olfactory Function: The Influence of Demographic, Cognitive, and Genetic Factors2013Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Olfactory function is affected by demographic, cognitive, and genetic factors. In the present thesis, three empirical studies investigated individual differences in olfactory ability. Study I explored demographic and cognitive correlates in common olfactory tasks; odor detection, odor discrimination, and odor identification. The results indicated that old age influenced performance negatively in all tasks, and that semantic memory proficiency and executive functioning were related to odor discrimination and odor identification performance. No cognitive influence was observed for measurements of olfactory threshold. Using population-based data, Study II investigated a potential influence of the ApoE gene on olfactory identification after controlling for health status, semantic memory, and preclinical and clinical dementia. The main finding was that the ApoE- ɛ4 allele interacted with age, such that older ɛ4-carriers had an impaired odor identification performance relative to older non-carriers. Importantly, the negative ApoE- ɛ4 effect on olfactory proficiency was independent of clinical dementia conversion within five years. Study III investigated the effects of the BDNF val66met polymorphism on olfactory change over a five-year interval, in a community dwelling sample of young and old age cohorts. The results showed that age-related decline in olfactory identification was influenced by the BDNF val66met. In middle-aged subjects, no effect of BDNF val66met was observed although older val homozygote carriers showed a selectively larger olfactory decline than the older met carriers. Overall, results suggest that the relative influence of demographic and cognitive factors vary across different olfactory tasks and that two genes (ApoE and BDNF) impact age-related deficits in odor identification. Potential theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed as well as potential limitations of association studies in genomics research.

  • 2.
    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, p. 1062-1067Article 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.

  • 3.
    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, p. 24-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.

  • 4.
    Jönsson, Fredrik U.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Hedner, Margareta
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Olsson, Mats J.
    Karolinska Institutet.
    The Testing Effect as a Function of Explicit Testing Instructions and Judgments of Learning2012In: Experimental psychology (Göttingen), ISSN 1618-3169, E-ISSN 2190-5142, Vol. 59, no 5, p. 251-257Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    During study, people monitor their learning; the output of this monitoring is captured in so-called judgments of learning (JOLs). JOLs predict later recall better if they are made after a slight delay, instead of immediately after study (the delayed JOL effect). According to the self-fulfilling prophecy (SFP) hypothesis delayed JOLs are based on covert retrieval attempts from long-term memory, and successful retrieval attempts in themselves enhance learning (the testing effect). We compared memory for 40 Swahili-Swedish paired associates after a week as a function of three different learning conditions, namely study plus (i) explicitly instructed self-testing, (ii) delayed JOLs, or (iii) less self-testing. We showed that repeated delayed JOLs lead to a memory improvement insignificantly different from a comparable condition where the participants are explicitly testing memory, and both the latter groups performed reliably better than a group that self-tested less. The results suggest that delayed JOLs improve long-term retention as efficiently as explicit memory testing and lend support to the SFP hypothesis.

  • 5.
    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, p. 1049-1053Article 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.

  • 6.
    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, p. 567-577Article 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

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