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How Big is the Gap between Detection and Recognition of Aliphatic Aldehydes?
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Zoology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5583-2697
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2009 (English)In: Chemical Senses, ISSN 0379-864X, E-ISSN 1464-3553, Vol. 34, no 7, A108-A109 p.Article in journal, Meeting abstract (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

It is widely agreed that two different measures of olfactory sensitivity can be distinguished: a detection threshold, defined as the lowest concentration at which an odorant can be detected or discriminated from a blank stimulus, and a recognition  threshold,  defined as the lowest concentration at which an odorant can be assigned a recog- nizable quality or discriminated  from another  odorant. It is further widely agreed that the detection  threshold  is lower than the recog- nition  threshold.  Surprisingly  few studies,  however, have investi- gated the magnitude of the difference in concentration between olfactory  detection  and  recognition  thresholds.  It  was therefore the aim of the present study to determine olfactory detection thresh- olds for five aliphatic  aldehydes  (C4-C8) in a group  of 16 human subjects, and to assess the ability of the same subjects to discrim- inate between the same odorants presented  at different concentra- tions above their individual detection thresholds.  We found that as a group the subjects significantly discriminated  between 4 of the 10 odorant pairs when presented  at a factor  of 100, and 7 of the 10 odorant pairs when presented at a factor of 1000 above the individ- ual detection  thresholds.  The 3 remaining  odorant pairs were not discriminated  above chance level even when presented  at a factor of 1000 above  detection  threshold.  However,  single subjects suc- cessfully discriminated  between  certain  aldehyde  pairs  presented at a factor as low as 3 above detection threshold.  Further, a signif- icant negative correlation between discrimination performance and structural similarity of the aldehydes tested was found. The results demonstrate that  the  gap  between  detection  and  recognition  of aliphatic  aldehydes  is odorant pair-dependent but  – at the grouplevel – spans at least a factor  of 100.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford University Press, 2009. Vol. 34, no 7, A108-A109 p.
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-20414DOI: 10.1093/chemse/bjp032ISI: 000269196800345OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-20414DiVA: diva2:234533
Conference
31st Annual Meeting of the Association-for-Chemoreception-Sciences, Sarasota, FL USA, APR 22-23, 2009
Available from: 2009-09-08 Created: 2009-09-07 Last updated: 2015-03-06Bibliographically approved

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Laska, Matthias

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