How Big is the Gap between Detection and Recognition of Aliphatic Aldehydes?
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
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.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-20414DOI: 10.1093/chemse/bjp032ISI: 000269196800345OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-20414DiVA: diva2:234533
31st Annual Meeting of the Association-for-Chemoreception-Sciences, Sarasota, FL USA, APR 22-23, 2009