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Data-science based analysis of perceptual spaces of odors in olfactory loss

 
: Lötsch, J.; Ultsch, A.; Hähner, A.; Willgeroth, V.; Bensafi, M.; Zaliani, A.; Hummel, T.

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Scientific Reports 11 (2021), Art. 10595, 14 pp.
ISSN: 2045-2322
English
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer ITMP ()

Abstract
Diminished sense of smell impairs the quality of life but olfactorily disabled people are hardly considered in measures of disability inclusion. We aimed to stratify perceptual characteristics and odors according to the extent to which they are perceived differently with reduced sense of smell, as a possible basis for creating olfactory experiences that are enjoyed in a similar way by subjects with normal or impaired olfactory function. In 146 subjects with normal or reduced olfactory function, perceptual characteristics (edibility, intensity, irritation, temperature, familiarity, hedonics, painfulness) were tested for four sets of 10 different odors each. Data were analyzed with (i) a projection based on principal component analysis and (ii) the training of a machine-learning algorithm in a 1000-fold cross-validated setting to distinguish between olfactory diagnosis based on odor property ratings. Both analytical approaches identified perceived intensity and familiarity with the odor as discriminating characteristics between olfactory diagnoses, while evoked pain sensation and perceived temperature were not discriminating, followed by edibility. Two disjoint sets of odors were identified, i.e., d = 4 “discriminating odors” with respect to olfactory diagnosis, including cis-3-hexenol, methyl salicylate, 1-butanol and cineole, and d = 7 “non-discriminating odors”, including benzyl acetate, heptanal, 4-ethyl-octanoic acid, methional, isobutyric acid, 4-decanolide and p-cresol. Different weightings of the perceptual properties of odors with normal or reduced sense of smell indicate possibilities to create sensory experiences such as food, meals or scents that by emphasizing trigeminal perceptions can be enjoyed by both normosmic and hyposmic individuals.

: http://publica.fraunhofer.de/documents/N-636467.html