SPLTRAK Abstract Submission
Odor Detection Latency and its Relationship with Attributes of Liking, Pleasantness and Familiarity
Anshul Jain, Krystyna Rankin, Lalit Damodaran
International Flavors & Fragrances Inc., Union Beach, NJ, United States

Previous research (e.g. Boesveldt et al., 2010; Olofsson, 2012) has shown that odorants systematically differ in terms of how quickly they are detected by humans – the odor detection latency. However, our understanding of how factors such as pleasantness and familiarity affect detection latencies remains limited. There have been conflicting findings with regards to the effect of pleasantness (Boesveldt et al., 2010; Bensafi et al., 2013) while familiarity has only received limited attention (Boesveldt et al., 2010). Moreover, these studies were conducted with a relatively small set of odors (2 – 4) further limiting their generalizability. Therefore, a primary objective of the current study was to fill this gap in knowledge by conducting a systematic study with a large set of iso-intense odors (~30) with a wide range of pleasantness and familiarity ratings as well as other psychophysical and chemical properties. During the experiment, each participant was first trained to synchronize their respiration with a visual stimulus on the computer monitor.  Upon achieving adequate synchronization, the participant began the main part of the study, where a computer-controlled air-dilution olfactometer delivered fragrance ingredients via the cannula to their nose. The participant was instructed to continue synchronizing their respiration with the stimulus and to press a button as soon as they detect a scent (detection latency). The odor was presented at the beginning of an inspiration phase. We also ask participants to report perceived intensity, pleasantness and familiarity for each odorant. Preliminary results show no association between detection latency and pleasantness & familiarity factors. These results along with relationship with other psychophysical and physicochemical properties will be discussed.