How big is the gap between olfactory detection and recognition of aliphatic aldehydes?
2010 (English)In: Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, ISSN 1943-393X, Vol. 72, no 3, 806-812 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The aim of the present study was to determine the magnitude of the difference in concentration between olfactory detection and recognition thresholds of aliphatic aldehydes. To this end, we first determined olfactory detection thresholds for n-butanal, n-pentanal, n-hexanal, n-heptanal, and n-octanal in a group of 16 subjects and then assessed their ability to discriminate between all possible binary pairs of the same odorants presented at different concentrations above their individual detection thresholds. We found that the gap between detection and recognition of aliphatic aldehydes is odorant pair dependent and, at the group level, spans at least a factor of 100. However, single subjects successfully discriminated between certain aldehyde pairs presented at a factor as low as 3 above detection threshold. Our approach to determining olfactory recognition thresholds, using a performance-based measure rather than verbal labeling, not only avoids the problem of semantic ambiguity and arguable criteria, but also is applicable to nonhuman species, allowing for interspecific comparisons of recognition thresholds and of the gap between detection and recognition of odorants. The raw discrimination data from this study are available as a supplement from http://app.psychonomic-journals.org/content/supplemental.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
-: The Psychonomic Society, Inc. , 2010. Vol. 72, no 3, 806-812 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-54670DOI: 10.3758/APP.72.3.806ISI: 000282067000025OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-54670DiVA: diva2:306800