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 549585
Title Achieving Olfactory Expertise: Training for Transfer in Odor Identification
Author(s) Morquecho-Campos, Paulina; Larsson, Maria; Boesveldt, Sanne; Olofsson, Jonas K.
Source Chemical Senses 44 (2019)3. - ISSN 0379-864X - p. 197 - 203.
Department(s) Sensory Science and Eating Behaviour
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2019
Keyword(s) Memory - mixtures - perceptual learning - smell - transfer effect

Human olfactory function requires the identification of everyday odors. A characteristic feature of olfaction is that most people find it hard to identify and name common odors, and when odors are presented simultaneously in mixtures, performance is even further compromised. Few studies have systematically assessed how training might enhance identification of single odors and mixtures. This study compared how odor identification training with either single odors or binary mixtures affected identification performance, as well as transfer effects to untrained tasks and odors. Twenty-seven healthy participants (22 F; 28.0 ± 4.7 years old) completed identification training of 8 odors using a list of 16 veridical names. The study included 8 training sessions, as well as pretest and posttest evaluations. Results suggest notable effects of learning, as well as transfer to novel tasks and odors. Overall, training with single odors led to slightly better results than the binary mixture condition, suggesting that in novices, odor identification may be facilitated via consolidation of single odor objects, before learning to dissociate binary mixtures. Overall, odor identification may be trained to generate transfer of learning, although transfer effects were observed in both training methods. Our work suggests that odor identification abilities, while often limited, are highly trainable.

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