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  • 1. Giertuga, Katarzyna
    et al.
    Zakrzewska, Marta
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Bielecki, Maksymilian
    Racicka-Pawlukiewicz, Ewa
    Kossut, Malgorzata
    Cybulska-Klosowicz, Anita
    Age-Related Changes in Resting-State EEG Activity in Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Cross-Sectional Study2017In: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, ISSN 1662-5161, E-ISSN 1662-5161, Vol. 11, article id 285Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Numerous studies indicate that attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is related to some developmental trends, as its symptoms change widely over time. Nevertheless, the etiology of this phenomenon remains ambiguous. There is a disagreement whether ADHD is related to deviations in brain development or to a delay in brain maturation. The model of deviated brain development suggests that the ADHD brain matures in a fundamentally different way, and does not reach normal maturity at any developmental stage. On the contrary, the delayed brain maturation model assumes that the ADHD brain indeed matures in a different, delayed way in comparison to healthy age-matched controls, yet eventually reaches proper maturation. We investigated age-related changes in resting-state EEG activity to find evidence to support one of the alternative models. A total of 141 children and teenagers participated in the study; 67 diagnosed with ADHD and 74 healthy controls. The absolute power of delta, theta, alpha, and beta frequency bands was analyzed. We observed a significant developmental pattern of decreasing absolute EEG power in both groups. Nonetheless, ADHD was characterized by consistently lower absolute EGG power, mostly in the theta frequency band, in comparison to healthy controls. Our results are in line with the deviant brain maturation theory of ADHD, as the observed effects of age-related changes in EEG power are parallel but different in the two groups.

  • 2.
    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.

  • 3.
    Olofsson, Jonas
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Liuzza, Marco Tullio
    Lindholm, Torun
    Zakrzewska, Marta
    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.
    Body odor disgust scale (BODS): Its validation and association with social biases2019In: Chemical Senses, ISSN 0379-864X, E-ISSN 1464-3553, Vol. 44, no 3, p. e8-e8Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Body odors provide important social and health-related cues in many species. While human body odor perception often triggers feelings of disgust, few studies have investigated body odor disgust in a systematic way. We have developed the body odor disgust scale (BODS), a brief 12-item scale to assess the extent to which individuals are disgusted by common body odors such as sweat and urine. The scale development included both internal and external validation tests. We used the BODS in conjunction with scales measuring social attitudes and biases, and found consistent associations between high body odor disgust and stronger authoritarian attitudes, as well as more pronounced outgroup biases. Our work is consistent with the “behavioral immune system” framework, wherein social attitudes and political ideologies are shaped by perceived pathogen risk and disease avoidance via feelings of disgust. Body odor perception may thus not only be important for personal interactions, but may also be linked to social attitudes and political ideologies.

  • 4.
    Syrjänen, Elmeri
    et al.
    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.
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology.
    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.
    Olofsson, Jonas K.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Background Odors Modulate N170 ERP Component and Perception of Emotional Facial Stimuli2018In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 9, article id 1000Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Successful social interaction relies on the accurate decoding of other peoples' emotional signals, and their contextual integration. However, little is known about how contextual odors may lead to modulation of cortical processing in response to facial expressions. We investigated how unpleasant and pleasant contextual background odors affected emotion perception and cortical event-related potential (ERP) responses to pictures of faces expressing happy, neutral and disgusted facial expressions. Faces were, regardless of expression, rated more positively in the pleasant odor condition and more negatively in the unpleasant odor condition. Faces were overall rated as more emotionally arousing in the presence of an odor, irrespective of its valence. Contextual odors also interacted with facial expressions, such that happy faces were rated as especially non-arousing in the unpleasant odor condition. The early, face-sensitive N170 ERP component also displayed an interaction effect. Here, disgusted faces were affected by the odor context such that the N170 revealed a relatively larger negativity in the context of a pleasant odor compared with an unpleasant odor. There were no odor effects on the responses to faces in other measured ERP components (P1, VPP, P2, and LPP). These results suggest that odors bias socioemotional perception early stages of the visual processing stream. However, effects may vary across emotional expressions and measurements.

  • 5.
    Zakrzewska, Marta
    et al.
    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.
    Lindholm, Torun
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Personality, Social and Developmental Psychology.
    Blomkvist, Anna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Personality, Social and Developmental Psychology.
    Liuzza, Marco Tullio
    Body odor disgust sensitivity is associated with prejudice towards a fictive group of immigrants2019In: Physiology and Behavior, ISSN 0031-9384, E-ISSN 1873-507X, Vol. 201, p. 221-227Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Why are certain individuals persistent in opposing immigration? The behavioral immune system framework implies that a psychological mechanism, which adapted to detect and avoid pathogen threats, is also reflected in contemporary social attitudes. Moreover, prejudice towards outgroups might be partially driven by implicit pathogen concerns related to the perceived dissimilarity with these groups' hygiene and food preparation practices. Disgust, a universal core emotion supposedly evolved to avoid pathogen threats, as well as olfaction, both play a pivotal role in evoking disgust. In an online study (N = 800), we investigated whether individual differences in body odor disgust sensitivity (BODS) correlate with negative attitudes towards a fictive refugee group. The data analysis plan and hypotheses were preregistered. Results show that body odor disgust sensitivity is associated with xenophobia: BODS was positively associated with negative attitudes towards the fictive group. This relationship was partially mediated by perceived dissimilarities of the group in terms of hygiene and food preparation. Our finding suggests prejudice might be rooted in sensory mechanisms.

  • 6.
    Zakrzewska, Marta Zuzanna
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Liuzza, Marco Tullio
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. University of Catanzaro, Italy.
    Lindholm, Torun
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Blomkvist, Anna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Olofsson, Jonas K.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    An Overprotective Nose? Implicit Bias Is Positively Related to Individual Differences in Body Odor Disgust Sensitivity2020In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 11, article id 301Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Body odors are universal elicitors of disgust, a core emotion that plays a key role in the behavioral immune system (BIS) - a set of psychological functions working to avoid disease. Recent studies showed that body odor disgust sensitivity (BODS) is associated with explicit xenophobia and authoritarianism. In the current experimental pre-registered study (), we investigated the association between olfactory pathogen cues, BODS and implicit bias toward an outgroup (tested by an implicit association test). Results show that BODS is positively related to implicit bias toward an outgroup, suggesting that social attitudes may be linked to basic chemosensory processes. These attitudes were not influenced by background odors. Additionally, BODS was related to social, but not economic conservatism. This study extends the BIS framework to an experimental context by focusing on the role of disgust and body odors in shaping implicit bias.

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