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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, p. 530-537Article 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. Airaksinen, Eija
    et al.
    Wahlin, Åke
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Kognitiv psykologi.
    Forsell, Yvonne
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Low episodic memory performance as a premorbid marker of depression:: Evidence from a 3-year follow-up2007In: Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, Vol. 115, no 6, p. 458-465Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: To examine low episodic memory scores as a potential risk factor for depression.

    Method: A population-based sample of non-depressed individuals (20–64 years) were re-examined 3 years after an initial screening (n ¼ 708). At baseline, information on episodic memory scores, demographic and socioeconomic factors, alcohol use and anxiety diagnoses was collected. The data for depression diagnoses were collected at both baseline and follow-up.

    Results: Logistic regressions, conducted on three separate study groups that were defined according to three assessments of episodic memory (i.e. free + cued recall, free recall, cued recall) among individuals who scored in the 25 lowest or highest percentiles in the memory tests, revealed that low episodic memory performance defined as the sum of free and cued recalls of organizable words constitutes a risk of depression diagnosis 3 years later.

    Conclusion: Low episodic memory performance predated depressive diagnosis and might be considered as a premorbid marker of depression.

  • 3. Airaksinen, Eija
    et al.
    Wahlin, Åke
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Forsell, Yvonne
    Cognitive and social functioning in recovery from depression: Results from a population-based three-year follow-up2006In: Journal of Affective Disorders, ISSN 0165-0327, Vol. 96, no 1-2, p. 107-110Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: This study prospectively examined cognitive and social functioning in recovery from depression using participants sampled from the general population. Method: Seventy-six depressed persons fulfilling (n=41) and not fulfilling (n=35) the criteria for DSM-IV depression at a threeyear follow-up were compared with respect to episodic memory performance and social functioning at baseline (T1), at follow-up (T2) and change across time. Results: The groups did not differ in episodic memory performance either at T1, T2 or in residual change. However, the groups differed in social functioning at T2 and in residual change indicating improved social functioning in the recovered group. Limitation: The absence of a healthy control group at follow-up. Conclusion: Despite the symptomatic improvement and improved social functioning, cognitive functioning does not follow this general recovery trend, at least not in the three-year interval examined.

  • 4.
    Arshamian, Artin
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Iannilli, Emilia
    Gerber, Johannes C.
    Willander, Johan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Persson, Jonas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Seo, Han-Seok
    Hummel, Thomas
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    The functional neuroanatomy of odor evoked autobiographical memories cued by odors and words2013In: Neuropsychologia, ISSN 0028-3932, E-ISSN 1873-3514, Vol. 51, no 1, p. 123-131Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Behavioral evidence indicates that odor evoked autobiographical memories (OEAMs) are older, more emotional, less thought of and induce stronger time traveling characteristics than autobiographical memories (AMs) evoked by other modalities. The main aim of this study was to explore the neural correlates of AMs evoked by odors as a function of retrieval cue. Participants were screened for specific OEAMs and later presented with the odor cue and its verbal referent in an fMRI paradigm. Because the same OEAM was retrieved across both cue formats (odor and word), potential cue dependent brain activations were investigated. The overall results showed that odor and word cued OEAMs activated regions typically associated with recollection of autobiographical information. Although no odors were presented, a verbal cuing of the OEAMs activated areas associated with olfactory perception (e.g., piriform cortex). However, relative to word cuing, an odor cuing of OEAMs resulted in more activity in MTL regions such as the parahippocampus, and areas involved in visual vividness (e.g., occipital gyrus and precuneus). Furthermore, odor cues activated areas related to emotional processing, such as limbic and tempopolar regions significantly more. In contrast, word cues relative to odor cues recruited a more widespread and bilateral prefrontal activity. Hippocampus activity did not vary as function of the remoteness of the memory, but recollection of OEAMs from the 1st vs the 2nd decade of life showed specific activation in the right OFC, whereas the 2nd reflected a higher activation in the left inferior frontal gyrus.

  • 5.
    Arshamian, Artin
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Same same but different: the case of olfactory imagery2014In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 5, p. UNSP 34-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In the present work we present an overview of experimental findings corroborating olfactory imagery observations with the visual and auditory modalities. Overall, the results indicate that imagery of olfactory information share many features with those observed in the primary senses although some major differences are evident. One such difference pertains to the considerable individual differences observed, with the majority being unable to reproduce olfactory information in their mind. Here, we highlight factors that are positively related to an olfactory imagery capacity, such as semantic knowledge, perceptual experience, and olfactory interest that may serve as potential moderators of the large individual variation.

  • 6.
    Arshamian, Artin
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Olofsson, Jonas K.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Jönsson, Fredrik U.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Sniff Your Way to Clarity: The Case of Olfactory Imagery2008In: CHEMOSENSORY PERCEPTION, ISSN 1936-5802, Vol. 1, no 4, p. 242-246Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study addressed the effects of blocking spontaneous sniffing during olfactory imagery. A group of subjects (n=40) who scored high in olfactory focus and imagery ability rated the vividness in olfactory and visual imagery content under conditions of blocked sniffing, blocked vision, and a nonblocked control. The imagery stimuli consisted of 90 common words that could represent either an odor or a visual object. Blocked sniffing was expected to impair olfactory imagery vividness, but since visual imagery entails eye movements, which was not affected by the ""blocked vision"" manipulation, visual imagery ratings were effectively used as a placebo control. Confirming our hypotheses, the results showed that preventing sniffing resulted in a selectively poorer olfactory but not visual vividness, whereas blocked vision showed no effect on either the visual or olfactory vividness ratings. These observations confirm that sensorimotor activity is an important aspect for the quality of evoked olfactory images.

  • 7.
    Arshamian, Artin
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Willander, Johan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Olfactory awareness is positively associated to odour memory2011In: Journal of Cognitive Psychology, ISSN 2044-5911, E-ISSN 2044-592X, Vol. 23, no 2, p. 220-226Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We investigated the relationship between olfactory awareness and olfactory proficiency as determined by a set of standardised olfactory tasks. Olfactory awareness was indexed by scores in questionnaires focusing on odour interest, imagery ability, and prevalence of olfactory dreams. Nineteen subjects with high and 20 subjects with low odour awareness were presented with a set of standardised olfactory tasks: odour threshold, episodic odour recognition, and odour identification. The results showed that individuals with high odour awareness excelled in odour memory and identified more odours as compared with the low awareness group. Interestingly, odour naming ability exerted no influence on odour memory. Furthermore, high odour awareness was not related to a more sensitive olfactory sensory system as determined by olfactory threshold measurements.

  • 8.
    Cavazzana, Annachiara
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics. Technische Universität Dresden, Germany.
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Hoffmann, Eileen
    Hummel, Thomas
    Haehner, Antje
    The vessel's shape influences the smell and taste of cola2017In: Food Quality and Preference, ISSN 0950-3293, E-ISSN 1873-6343, Vol. 59, p. 8-13Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    People's smell and taste perception is affected by different features of the vessel in which the beverage is served. In this study we focused on the container's shape and we investigated its impact on participants' olfactory and tasting ratings regarding a popular beverage, i.e., cola. We tested 100 healthy participants who evaluated both cola and sparkling water. These two beverages were presented in three different containers: a cola glass, a water glass and a plastic bottle. The results showed the presence of multisensory interactions between the smell and taste of the drinks and the type of vessel in which they were presented. Cola was perceived as more pleasant and intense when served in a typical coca-cola glass as compared to when it was presented in an incongruent container (i.e., water glass or plastic bottle). These results further support the view that our perception is modulated by the shape of the container in which the liquid is presented, strongly influencing the consumer's drinking experience.

  • 9. Cavazzana, Annachiara
    et al.
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Münch, Marcus
    Hähner, Antje
    Hummel, Thomas
    Postinfectious olfactory loss: A retrospective study on 791 patients2018In: The Laryngoscope, ISSN 0023-852X, E-ISSN 1531-4995, Vol. 128, no 1, p. 10-15Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objectives/Hypothesis: Postinfectious olfactory loss is among the most common causes of olfactory impairment and has substantial negative impact on patients' quality of life. Recovery rates have been shown to spontaneously improve in most of patients, usually within 2 to 3 years. However, existing studies are limited by small sample sizes and short follow-up. We aimed to assess the prognostic factors for recovery in a large sample of 791 patients with postinfectious olfactory disorders.

    Study Design: Retrospective cohort.

    Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of 791 patients with postinfectious olfactory loss. Olfactory functions were assessed using the Sniffin' Sticks test at the first and final visits (mean follow-up = 1.94 years).

    Results: Smell test scores improved over time. In particular, patient's age and the odor threshold (T), odor discrimination (D), and odor identification (I) (TDI) score at first visit were significant predictors of the extent of change. The percentage of anosmic and hyposmic patients exhibiting clinically significant improvement was 46% and 35%, respectively.

    Conclusions: This study provides new evidence within the postinfectious olfactory loss literature, shedding light on the prognostic factors and showing that recovery of olfactory function is very frequent, even many years after the infection.

  • 10.
    Cavazzana, Annachiara
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. TU Dresden, Germany.
    Poletti, Sophia C.
    Guducu, Cagdas
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Hummel, Thomas
    Electro-olfactogram Responses Before and After Aversive Olfactory Conditioning in Humans2018In: Neuroscience, ISSN 0306-4522, E-ISSN 1873-7544, Vol. 373, p. 199-206Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of the present study was to investigate whether repetitive aversive odor conditioning induced changes at the level of the peripheral olfactory system in humans. A total of 51 volunteers participated. A pair of indistinguishable odor enantiomers [(+)-rose oxide and (-)-rose oxide] were used as stimuli. During the pre-conditioning, participants' ability to discriminate between the two odors was assessed using a three-alternative, forced-choice discrimination test. In addition, electro-olfactograms ( EOG) from the olfactory epithelium were recorded. Participants underwent three conditioning sessions on consecutive days. The experimental group received an electrical stimulus to the forearm only following (+)-rose oxide presentation, whereas its enantiomer sibling was never paired with the aversive stimulus; the control group did not receive any electrical stimulation. During the post-conditioning session, their ability to discriminate the two enantiomers was assessed again using the discrimination test and EOG recordings were obtained similarly to the pre-conditioning session. Results showed significant differences in the peripheral electrophysiological responses between the conditioned and the unconditioned stimulus, demonstrating contextually induced changes at the level of the first neuron in the olfactory system.

  • 11.
    Cavazzana, Annachiara
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. TU Dresden, Germany.
    Röhrborn, Anja
    Garthus-Niegel, Susan
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Hummel, Thomas
    Croy, Ilona
    Sensory-specific impairment among older people. An investigation using both sensory thresholds and subjective measures across the five senses2018In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 13, no 8, article id e0202969Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Age-related sensory impairment is a slow and gradual progress, which affects multiple modalities. Two contradictory hypotheses exist about the age-related decline of sensory thresholds. The common factor theory assumes one underlying factor-which accounts for the loss of several sensory modalities simultaneously-and the specific factor theory predicts that the sensory decline is uncorrelated between different modalities. In this study, we aimed to explore whether (i) there is a common factor of sensory thresholds in older people, (ii) older people assume that sensory decline in one modality also affects other modalities, (iii) there is a relation between sensory threshold and the subjective assessment of sensory function. This was accomplished by collecting both threshold measures and self-reported ratings for smell, hearing, taste, vision, and touch function in a group of 104 older people (mean age: 67.2 years; SD: 9.85; range: 50-100 years). Results indicated that there was no common factor of sensory thresholds, hence an impairment in one modality did not necessarily imply a shortfall in other modalities. In contrast, our results suggested one or two common factor(s) for the participants' ratings. Participants who reported a diminished function in one sense tended to generalize this rating to the other senses as well. The correspondence between subjective ratings and sensory thresholds was relatively good for vision and audition, although no correlations were observed for the other domains. These findings have implications for clinicians, suggesting that subjective measures should be combined with sensory threshold measurements when evaluating sensory dysfunction. Also, these data convey a positive message for older people and their physicians by showing that loss in one sensory modality does not necessarily generalize to losses across all sensory modalities.

  • 12.
    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, article id 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.

  • 13.
    Cornell Kärnekull, Stina
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Arshamian, Artin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Karolinska Institutet, Sweden; Radboud University, Netherlands.
    Nilsson, Mats E.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    The Effect of Blindness on Long-Term Episodic Memory for Odors and Sounds2018In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 9, article id 1003Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We recently showed that compared with sighted, early blind individuals have better episodic memory for environmental sounds, but not odors, after a short retention interval (similar to 8 - 9 min). Few studies have investigated potential effects of blindness on memory across long time frames, such as months or years. Consequently, it was unclear whether compensatory effects may vary as a function of retention interval. In this study, we followed-up participants (N = 57 out of 60) approximately 1 year after the initial testing and retested episodic recognition for environmental sounds and odors, and identification ability. In contrast to our previous findings, the early blind participants (n = 14) performed at a similar level as the late blind (n = 13) and sighted (n = 30) participants for sound recognition. Moreover, the groups had similar recognition performance of odors and identification ability of odors and sounds. These findings suggest that episodic odor memory is unaffected by blindness after both short and long retention intervals. However, the effect of blindness on episodic memory for sounds may vary as a function of retention interval, such that early blind individuals have an advantage over sighted across short but not long time frames. We speculate that the finding of a differential effect of blindness on auditory episodic memory across retention intervals may be related to different memory strategies at initial and follow-up assessments. In conclusion, this study suggests that blindness does not influence auditory or olfactory episodic memory as assessed after a long retention interval.

  • 14.
    Cornell Kärnekull, Stina
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Arshamian, Artin
    Willander, Johan
    Jönsson, Fredrik U.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nilsson, Mats E.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    The reminiscence bump is blind to blindness: Evidence from sound- and odor-evoked autobiographical memoryManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Autobiographical memories (AMs) evoked by sensory cues, such as words, pictures, and sounds, typically form reminiscence bumps in adolescence and young adulthood. However, odors constitute an exception by shifting the bump to early childhood. Olfaction may be a “sense of first impressions”, as indicated by a unique hippocampal representation in the brain for first odor-to-object associations. However, the influence of the individual’s sensory function on AMs has never been examined. We examined the reminiscence bumps of sound- and odor-evoked memories of early-blind and sighted individuals, since blindness implies considerable changes in sensory experience. Despite such changes, the groups displayed similar age distributions of both sound- and odor-evoked memories. The auditory bump seemed to span the first two decades of life, whereas the olfactory bump was once again found in early childhood. Hence, the reminiscence bumps were robust to differences in sensory function and experience.

  • 15.
    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, p. 641-648Article 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.

  • 16.
    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, p. 259-267Article 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.

  • 17. 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, p. 173-179Article 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.

  • 18.
    Ekström, Ingrid
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Olofsson, Jonas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Josefsson, Maria
    Subjective olfactory loss corresponds to long-term odor identification decline in older adultsIn: Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 19.
    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, p. 1238-1243Article 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.

  • 20. 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, p. 872-883Article 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.

  • 21. 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, p. 118-127Article 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.

  • 22.
    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.

  • 23.
    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.

  • 24.
    Iatropoulos, Georgios
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Herman, Pawel
    Lansner, Anders
    Karlgren, Jussi
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Olofsson, Jonas K.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    The language of smell: Connecting linguistic and psychophysical properties of odor descriptors2018In: Cognition, ISSN 0010-0277, E-ISSN 1873-7838, Vol. 178, p. 37-49Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The olfactory sense is a particularly challenging domain for cognitive science investigations of perception, memory, and language. Although many studies show that odors often are difficult to describe verbally, little is known about the associations between olfactory percepts and the words that describe them. Quantitative models of how odor experiences are described in natural language are therefore needed to understand how odors are perceived and communicated. In this study, we develop a computational method to characterize the olfaction related semantic content of words in a large text corpus of internet sites in English. We introduce two new metrics: olfactory association index (OAI, how strongly a word is associated with olfaction) and olfactory specificity index (OSI, how specific a word is in its description of odors). We validate the OAI and OSI metrics using psychophysical datasets by showing that terms with high OM have high ratings of perceived olfactory association and are used to describe highly familiar odors. In contrast, terms with high OSI have high inter-individual consistency in how they are applied to odors. Finally, we analyze Dravnieks's (1985) dataset of odor ratings in terms of OAI and OSI. This analysis reveals that terms that are used broadly (applied often but with moderate ratings) tend to be olfaction-unrelated and abstract (e.g., heavy or light; low OAI and low OSI) while descriptors that are used selectively (applied seldom but with high ratings) tend to be olfaction-related (e.g., vanilla or licorice; high OM). Thus, OAI and OSI provide behaviorally meaningful information about olfactory language. These statistical tools are useful for future studies of olfactory perception and cognition, and might help integrate research on odor perception, neuroimaging, and corpus-based linguistic models of semantic organization.

  • 25.
    Iatropoulos, Georgios
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Olofsson, Jonas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Herman, Pawel
    Lansner, Anders
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Analysis of Statistics and Semantic Relations of Odor-Describing Words in Written Olfactory Versus Non-Olfactory Contexts2017In: Chemical Senses, ISSN 0379-864X, E-ISSN 1464-3553, Vol. 42, no 2, p. E34-E35Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In comparison to the performance in visual object identification tasks, humans gravely underperform when it comes to naming odors. The poor ability in humans to identify olfactory stimuli has since long been established in psychophysical research; yet, the root cause of this peculiar shortcoming remains essentially unknown. Two primary explanations have been hypothesized: The first posits that poor odor naming is a consequence of neuroanatomical constraints limiting the sensory processing ability of cortical olfactory systems as well as their communication with cortical regions responsible for lexical and semantic representations. In contrast, the second hypothesis proposes that inability to name odors is caused by a mixture of social, cultural, and linguistic factors, whereby humans fail to learn strong and well-defined odor-word associations due to a lack of sufficiently odor-specific lexical labels combined with a negligence of accurate and consistent odor descriptions in everyday written and verbal communication. In this study, we attempt to disentangle and quantify the premise of the latter hypothesis. By applying computational linguistic techniques for semantic content analysis on a corpus of tens of millions of documents published online on a wide variety of topics, we quantify the semantic content, semantic similarity and usage frequency of a set of odor-descriptor words used in a previous psychophysical study to classify odors (Dravnieks, 1985). Crucially, we disambiguate between the semantic content in olfactory and non-olfactory contexts, allowing for an estimation of the semantic ambiguity (number of different meanings attributed to the word), olfactory ambiguity (number of types of smells related to the word), commonness (relative frequency in all contexts), and odor applicability (relative frequency in olfactory contexts) of the odor descriptors. These metrics are compared to the applicability values of the descriptors as reported in Dravnieks’ dataset (1985).

  • 26. Josefsson, Maria
    et al.
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Nordin, Steven
    Adolfsson, Rolf
    Olofsson, Jonas K.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics. Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, Sweden.
    APOE-epsilon 4 effects on longitudinal decline in olfactory and non-olfactory cognitive abilities in middle-aged and old adults2017In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 7, article id 1286Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Characterizing aging-related decline trajectories in mental abilities, and relationships of the epsilon 4 allele of the Apolipoprotein gene, helps to identify individuals at high risk for dementia. However, longitudinal changes in olfactory and non-olfactory cognitive abilities have not been investigated in relation to the epsilon 4 allele. In the present study, participants from a large population-based study (657 middle-aged and 556 old) were tested over 10 years on their performance on an odor identification task and three non-olfactory cognitive tasks; MMSE, episodic memory, and semantic memory. Our key finding is that in middle-aged participants, odor identification declined twice as fast for epsilon 4/4 homozygotes, compared to non-carriers. However, in old participants, the epsilon 4/4 homozygotes showed an impaired odor identification ability, but they declined at a similar rate as the non-carriers. Furthermore, in old participants all assessments displayed aging-related declines, but exaggerated declines in epsilon 4-carriers were found only in MMSE and episodic memory assessments. In sum, we present evidence that odor identification ability starts to decline already in middle-aged, and that carriers of epsilon 4/4, who are at highest risk of developing dementia, decline twice as fast. Our results may have implications for use of odor identification assessment in detection of early-stage dementia.

  • 27. 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, p. 615-621Article 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.

  • 28.
    Larsson, Maria
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Arshamian, Artin
    Cornell Kärnekull, Stina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Odor-Based Context Dependent Memory2017In: Springer Handbook of Odor / [ed] Andrea Buettner, Cham, Switzerland: Springer, 2017, p. 105-106Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Even though rarely thought of, all environmental spaces contain odor information. It has been proposed that the preconditions for episodic olfactory memory may not be optimal. For example, environmental olfactory information often goes unnoticed and barely evokes attention in humans and semantic activations that are a prerequisite for optimal episodic memory functioning are typically restricted. Still, it is highly likely that olfactory information will become part of a memory representation that is linked to a specific event. This implies that an event-congruent exposure of an odor carries the potential to trigger all, or parts of, a previous episode. Indeed, available evidence shows that odors may serve as powerful reminders of past experiences. This is demonstrated by studies exploring the nature of odor-evoked autobiographical memories and by controlled experimental paradigms where odors have been embedded in a learning context and later reinstated at retrieval where an increased memory recollection for the target information is often observed. These observations converge on the notion that odor memories are retained over long periods of time.

    In this chapter, we will highlight olfactory cueing of memory and how odors may act as reminders of the recent and distant past.

  • 29.
    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. Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, Sweden.
    Loss of Olfactory Function Predicts Mortality Irrespective of Dementia Conversion: 10-year follow-up of an age-varied sample2016In: Chemical Senses, ISSN 0379-864X, E-ISSN 1464-3553, Vol. 41, no 9, p. e111-e288Article in journal (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.

  • 30.
    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, p. 422-426Article 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.

  • 31.
    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.

  • 32.
    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, p. 118-126Article 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.

  • 33.
    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, p. 1373-1380Article 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.

  • 34.
    Larsson, Maria
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Tirado, Carlos
    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.
    A Meta-Analysis of Odor Thresholds and Odor Identification in Autism Spectrum Disorders2017In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 8, article id 679Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are often accompanied by atypical visual, auditory, and tactile sensory behavior. Evidence also suggests alterations of the olfactory system, but the pattern of findings appears mixed. To quantify this pattern systematically, we conducted a meta-analysis. Studies were included if they examined olfactory function (i.e., odor threshold, or odor identification) in ASD compared with healthy age-matched control groups. We also coded for the potential moderators gender, age, and IQ. Articles were identified through computerized literature search using Web of Science, PubMed, and Scopus databases. A total of 11 articles compared odor threshold and/or odor identification between cases and controls (for threshold, n = 143 ASD and 148 controls; and for identification, n = 132 ASD and 139 controls). Effects sizes showed a substantial heterogeneity. As a result, the 95% prediction intervals were wide and ranged between a large negative and a large positive effect size for odor threshold, [-1.86, 2.05], and for odor identification, [-1.51, 2.52]. Exploratory analyses suggested that age and IQ may be potential moderators. To conclude, the large heterogeneity is consistent with the notion of both hyposensitivity and hypersensitivity in individuals with ASD. However, future research needs to predict and test the specific direction of the effect to provide convincing evidence for atypical olfactory functions in ASD.

  • 35.
    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, p. 318-323Article 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.

  • 36.
    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, article id 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.

  • 37.
    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, p. 231-244Article 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.

  • 38.
    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, p. 68-75Article 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.

  • 39.
    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, p. 375-380Article 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.

  • 40.
    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 B.
    Gustafsson Sendén, Marie
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Personality, Social and Developmental Psychology.
    Stanciu, 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.
    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.

  • 41.
    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, Perception and psychophysics.
    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, p. 499-508Article 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.

  • 42. 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, p. 181-186Article 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.

  • 43. 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, p. 595-613Article 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.

  • 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
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    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, p. 1-9Article 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, p. 455-479Article 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, 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

  • 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, p. 496-503Article 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, p. 470-475Article 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.
    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.

  • 50. Poletti, Sophia C.
    et al.
    Cavazzana, Annachiara
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics. Technische Universität Dresden, Germany.
    Guducu, Cagdas
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Hummel, Thomas
    Indistinguishable odour enantiomers: Differences between peripheral and central-nervous electrophysiological responses2017In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 7, article id 8978Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The ability of humans to discriminate enantiomeric odour pairs is substance-specific. Current literature suggests that psychophysical discrimination of odour enantiomers mainly depends on the peripheral processing at the level of the olfactory sensory neurons (OSN). To study the influence of central processing in discrimination, we investigated differences in the electrophysiological responses to psychophysically indistinguishable (+)- and (-)- rose oxide enantiomers at peripheral and central-nervous levels in humans. We recorded the electro-olfactogram (EOG) from the olfactory epithelium and the EEG-derived olfactory event-related potentials (OERP). Results from a psychophysical three alternative forced choice test indicated indistinguishability of the two odour enantiomers. In a total of 19 young participants EOG could be recorded in 74 and OERP in 95% of subjects. Significantly different EOG amplitudes and latencies were recorded in response to the 2 stimuli. However, no such differences in amplitude or latency emerged for the OERP. In conclusion, although the pair of enantiomer could be discriminated at a peripheral level this did not lead to a central-nervous/cognitive differentiation of the two stimuli.

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