Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 428697
Title The fish is bad: negative food odors elicit faster and more accurate reactions than other odors
Author(s) Boesveldt, S.; Frasnelli, J.; Gordon, A.; Lundstrom, J.N.
Source Biological Psychology 84 (2010)2. - ISSN 0301-0511 - p. 313 - 317.
Department(s) Chair Sensory Science and Eating Behaviour
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2010
Keyword(s) unpleasant odor - autonomic parameters - responses - fear - pleasant - stimuli - emotion - humans - perception - attention
Abstract Dissociating between ‘good’ or ‘bad’ odors is arguable of crucial value for human survival, since unpleasant odors often signal danger. Therefore, negative odors demand a faster response in order to quickly avoid or move away from negative situations. We know from other sensory systems that this effect is most evident for stimuli from ecologically-relevant categories. In the olfactory system the classification of odors into the food or non-food category is of eminent importance. We therefore aimed to explore the link between odor processing speed and accuracy and odor edibility and valence by assessing response time and detection accuracy. We observed that reaction time and detection accuracy are influenced by both pleasantness and edibility. Specifically, we showed that an unpleasant food odor is detected faster and more accurately than odors of other categories. These results suggest that the olfactory system reacts faster and more accurately to ecologically-relevant stimuli that signal a potential danger
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