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Rapid Olfactory Adaptation Induced by Subthreshold Odors in Human Observers

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0042742/00001

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Title: Rapid Olfactory Adaptation Induced by Subthreshold Odors in Human Observers
Physical Description: 1 online resource (29 p.)
Language: english
Creator: KEITH,RYAN R
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2011

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: ADAPTATION -- OLFACTION -- PERITHRESHOLD -- PSYCHOPHYSICS -- SUBTHRESHOLD -- THRESHOLD
Psychology -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Psychology thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Olfactory adaptation to peri-threshold odors has not been clearly characterized. To better understand perceptual adaptation to sub-threshold and near-threshold odors, we used a psychophysical method in which simultaneous adapting and target stimuli were presented. A custom-built olfactometer was used to determine the effect of an adapting odorant on the detection of a coincident target odorant. Twenty normosmic college-aged volunteers (ages 18-24; 14 females) served as subjects in this experiment. Subjects? detection thresholds were measured for a brief (600 ms) target of vanilla diluted in DH2O. Thresholds were measured as vol/vol liquid-phase concentration. To evaluate adaptation effects, detection thresholds for a brief (600 ms) vanilla target alone were compared with those for a 600-ms vanilla target presented 500 ms after onset of a 1500-ms adapting stimulus set to .25, .5, 1, or 2x subject?s initial threshold. The 500-ms onset delay corresponds to a 500-ms exposure to the adapting stimulus. Significant increases in threshold were evident with exposure to all adapting odorant levels, suggesting subject sensitivity for the target was attenuated by exposure to near and below-threshold odorants.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by RYAN R KEITH.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2011.
Local: Adviser: Smith, David W.
Local: Co-adviser: Devine, Darragh P.

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Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2011
System ID: UFE0042742:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0042742/00001

Material Information

Title: Rapid Olfactory Adaptation Induced by Subthreshold Odors in Human Observers
Physical Description: 1 online resource (29 p.)
Language: english
Creator: KEITH,RYAN R
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2011

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: ADAPTATION -- OLFACTION -- PERITHRESHOLD -- PSYCHOPHYSICS -- SUBTHRESHOLD -- THRESHOLD
Psychology -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Psychology thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Olfactory adaptation to peri-threshold odors has not been clearly characterized. To better understand perceptual adaptation to sub-threshold and near-threshold odors, we used a psychophysical method in which simultaneous adapting and target stimuli were presented. A custom-built olfactometer was used to determine the effect of an adapting odorant on the detection of a coincident target odorant. Twenty normosmic college-aged volunteers (ages 18-24; 14 females) served as subjects in this experiment. Subjects? detection thresholds were measured for a brief (600 ms) target of vanilla diluted in DH2O. Thresholds were measured as vol/vol liquid-phase concentration. To evaluate adaptation effects, detection thresholds for a brief (600 ms) vanilla target alone were compared with those for a 600-ms vanilla target presented 500 ms after onset of a 1500-ms adapting stimulus set to .25, .5, 1, or 2x subject?s initial threshold. The 500-ms onset delay corresponds to a 500-ms exposure to the adapting stimulus. Significant increases in threshold were evident with exposure to all adapting odorant levels, suggesting subject sensitivity for the target was attenuated by exposure to near and below-threshold odorants.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by RYAN R KEITH.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2011.
Local: Adviser: Smith, David W.
Local: Co-adviser: Devine, Darragh P.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2011
System ID: UFE0042742:00001


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1 RAPID OLFACTORY ADAPTATION INDUCED BY SUBTHRESHOLD STIMULATION IN HUMAN OBSERVERS By RYAN KEITH A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEG REE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2011

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2 2011 Ryan Keith

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3 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank David Smith for supervising this research and serving as a thesis committee chair. Darragh Devine and Keith Wh ite also provided extensive fe edback f or this project, and Colleen LePrell offered helpful comments as a member of the committee. Man y undergraduate students in collection of the data for this thesis.

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4 TABLE OF CON TENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 3 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 5 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 6 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 7 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 8 2 METHODS ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 11 Subjects ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 11 Olfactometer ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 11 Odorants ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 12 Psychophysical Methods ................................ ................................ ........................ 13 3 RESULTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 19 4 DISCUSSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 22 REFERENCE LIST ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 27 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ............................ 29

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5 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3 1 Comparison of mean detection th resholds for adapting odorant conditions compared with the mean detection threshold for the null condition .................... 21

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6 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2 1 Schematic depiction of olfactometer ................................ ................................ ... 17 2 2 Schematic of stimulus conditions in the simultaneous presentation paradigm. .. 18 3 1 Mean detection thresholds for each adapting stimulus condition ....................... 20

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7 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Req uirements for the Degree of Master of Science RAPID OLFACTORY ADAPTATION INDUCED BY SUBTHRESHOLD STIMULATION IN HUMAN OBSERVERS By Ryan Keith May 2011 Chair: David Smith Cochair: Darragh Devine Major: Psychology Olfactory adaptation to peri thre shold odors has not been clearly characterized. To better understand perceptual adaptation to sub threshold and near threshold odors, we used a psychophysical method in which simultaneous adapting and target stimuli were presented. A custom built olfactome ter was used to determine the effect of an adapting odorant on the detection of a coincident target odorant. Twenty normosmic college aged volunteers (ages 18 detection thresholds were measur ed for a brief (600 ms) target of vanilla diluted in DH2O. Thresholds were measured as vol/vol liquid phase concentration. To evaluate adaptation effects, detection thresholds for a brief (600 ms) vanilla target alone were compared with those for a 600 ms vanilla target presented 500 ms after onset of a 1500 ms onset delay corresponds to a 500 ms exposure to the adapting stimulus. Significant increases in threshold were evide nt with exposure to all adapting odorant levels, suggesting subject sensitivity for the target was attenuated by exposure to near and below threshold odorants.

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8 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION In detecting and processing olfactory information, prolonged stimulation can obscure comparatively brief or novel odors. To compensate for sustained stimulation, the olfactory system loses sensitivity to a stimulus during prolonged exposure a extraneous stimuli, adaptation facilitates the detection of novel odors (Dalton, 2000). Psychophysical studies investigating how adaptation affects perceptual olfactory experiences have traditionally made use of serially presented stimuli that allowed ti me to pass between presentations of an adaptation inducing odorant and a successive sensitivity test (Pierce, et al., 1996; Dalton, 2000; Linster, et al., 2001). These gaps in odorant delivery, however short, permit subjects to regain some level of olfacto ry effect. Such methods fail to represent natural conditions, in which the olfactory system simultaneously encounters background adapting stimuli in combination with no vel odors. Smith, and colleagues (2010), however, recently presented a novel psychophysical method that makes use of overlapping adaptation and test stimuli, with a brief delay in the onsets of the two odorants. This technique, known as the p exposure period by varying the delay between odorant onset times, and reduces problematic stimulus discontinuities observed in previous serial presentation approaches. Smith and colleagues (2010) employed the simultaneous presentation method in

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9 detection threshold for a vanilla odor was measured first in isolation, and then in the presence of a vanilla adapting odora nt set to twice the initial detection threshold. The onset delay between the adapting and target odors was manipulated, and the resulting constant of 319 ms. This time cours rapid than previously published estimates (c.f. Pryor, et al., 1970; Stone, et al., 1972; Wuttke and Tompkins, 2000), possibly due to the elimination of stimulus discontinuities and resulting perceptual effec ts. simultaneous presentation method was employed to specifically address effects of supra threshold odors (Smith, et al., 2010). Preliminary findings collected while demonstrating ad dependence with this technique, however, suggested possible effects of near and sub threshold odors. Level dependence where the degree of adaptation is related to the intensity of an adapting stimulus is a consistently identified feature of olfactory adaptation studies (Dalton, 2000). Demonstrating this reliable quality reinforces the validity of a novel technique. To investigate level dependence with the simultaneous stimulation method, fixed concentration adapting odorants (1%, 10%, and 30% vanilla in DH2O) were used, regardless of individual the subjects exhibited greater adaptation to the highest concentration stimuli and less adaptation in respo nse to lower concentration stimuli. Because odorants were chosen exposed to sub

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10 suggested that some may have shown adaptation effects to these near or sub threshold odorants, though results were not conclusive. The aim of the current study was to specifically investigate the possibility that olfactory sensitivity may be influenced by peri threshold odors. The simultaneous presentation method was adapted to specifically characterize the manner in which a peri threshold background odor affects sensitivity for a brief, overlapping target odor. Gaining insight into how near and sub threshold stimuli influence per ception will add to our knowledge of perceptual olfactory adaptation and expand our understanding beyond adaptation induced by readily detectible odors.

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11 CHAPTER 2 METHODS Subjects Thirty one subject s (13 Male, 18 Female), ages 18 24 were recruited for this questionnaire prior to data collection that screened for the following exclusionary criteria: a current nasal infection or a history of upper respiratory infectio ns, use of nasal sprays, or smoking. Two subjects reporting one or more of these criteria were excluded from the study. In addition, a total of nine subjects exhibited an unusually high baseline threshold for the vanilla target stimulus alone, greater than 20% volume/volume (v/v) in liquid phase, and were excluded from further study. Such a high threshold would not permit a sufficient dynamic range for threshold increases to indicate significant changes in sensitivity related to the presence of the adaptin g odorant. Experimental data were collected from a total of twenty individua ls (6 Male, 14 Female), ages 18 24. All experiments were pre approved by the Institutional Review Board of the University of Florida. Olfactometer This study employed a custom designed, automated, liquid dilution olfactometer Figure 2 1. A PC based program with a graphic user interface controlled the olfactometer, and subjects used a hand h eld response box to receive instructions and respond to the experimental manipulations. Ambient room air was pumped through a charcoal filter and divided into two independent air streams controlled by solenoid pinch valves a stimulus stream and

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12 carrier st ream regulated odorant delivery. The stimulus stream controlled release of gas phase odorants, while the carrier stream directed these stimuli to the subject. Flow rates for these air streams (carrier: 0.27 L/min, stimulus: 4.1 L/min) were selected to op timize the odorant onset rapidity at the nose. Connected upstream of all odorants, a third charcoal filtered, high flow rate air stream flushed residual odors out of the system and into evacuation tubing after each stimulus presentation. Saturation bot tles for each stimulus (target, control, and adapting) occupied a fixed position within the system to maintain consistent relative travel times of odors through the system to the nose. Odorants We used pure vanilla extract as the base for all odorant dilu tions in this study because vanilla is an easily recognizable, pleasant odor; pure vanilla extract was purchased in bulk (Gordon Food Service, Grand Rapids, MI). Vanilla extract was selected in favor of pure vanillin; human detection thresholds for vanill in in solution are too high to allow a sufficient dynamic range for threshold increases to indicate significant changes in sensitivity related to the presence of the adapting odorant (unpublished observations). Odorants were stored in a refrigerator under inert gas (nitrogen) to prevent oxidation. Serial dilutions of the odorant, in deionized water (DH 2 O) as a diluent, represented both target and adapting stimuli. Ten mL of a liquid phase, vanilla based dilution, added to a 500 mL glass saturation jar, s erved as a target stimulus. Ten mL of the diluent, alone, in a 500 ML glass saturation jar acted as the control stimulus. Because of the longer presentation time, adapting stimulus dilutions were of necessarily higher volume (100 mL), and were contained within a larger saturation bottle (5000 mL).

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13 Target (S+; vanilla in DH 2 O diluent) and control (S ; DH 2 O) stimuli each consisted of a single, 600 ms presentation of volatilized odorant. Adapting stimuli were 1500 ms presentations of vanilla diluted in D H 2 O. As illustrated in Figure 2 1, solenoid pinch valves briefly allowed air from the stimulus stream to pass into the stimulus jar and bubble through liquid phase odorant, producing volatilized stimuli that the carrier stream transported to the subject. Concentration here refers here to the volume/volume (v/v) concentration of the liquid phase odorant in the saturation bottle, rather than stimulus concentration at the phase odorant concentration at the nose is comparatively unimporta nt because relative changes in threshold, rather than absolute threshold, were of interest in this study. Psychophysical Methods During the experimental session, each subject held the response box in one hand, and secured the nasal mask over his or her no se with the other. The response response requests. With the nasal mask secured, the subject initiated a trial sequence Once depressed, the LCD screen instructed the subject to slowly exhale for 3s. Following the exhalation period, the response box instructed the subject to inhale slowly and continuously for 3s. The adapting stimulus, as well as the target or control, were presented during this inhalation period. Individual trials required subjects to discriminate dilutions of S+ from S This discrimination task is similar to the two bottle, forced choice paradigm employed in a number of psychophysical studies of olf action (Bodyak and Slotnick 1999; Laska and

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14 Seibt 2002; Hernandez Salazar et al. 2003). Immediately following the 3 s sampling period described above, subjects reported detection of the S+ by pressing a green response key, or failure to detect the S+ (i.e. ) by pressing a red response key. The response box provided immediate feedback to the subject for correct (message, ascending tones) and incorrect (message, buzzer sound) responses. Trials were grouped into "blocks" of twenty, in w hich participants were scored for accurate detection of a single vanilla concentration. For each block of twenty quasi randomly presented S+ and S trials (10 S+ and 10 S detect ion and correct rejection). Subjects were considered to have discriminated a target dilution from the control stimulus when he or she could accurately discriminate this concentration for 85% of trials within a block, for two consecutive blocks. If a subj ect satisfied this criterion, he or she was required to perform the same task again in the following block, but with a more dilute concentration (i.e., more difficult). However, if the subject was unable to accurately discriminate the target vanilla order from DH 2 O, the following block of trials would require detection of a more concentrated stimulus ( i.e ., less difficult). Subjects were allowed a maximum of three blocks (60 trials) for a given dilution. Due to time constraints and individual variation i n performance, the subjects were evaluated during two to five experimental phases. Figure 2 2 illustrates how phases progressed. In all phases, subjects were presented with a target or control odor, which the subject was required to identify, and a coinc ident adapting odorant. The first phase of the experiment, in which subjects discriminated S+ from S in the presence of a null

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15 adapting stimulus (DH 2 O), allowed for the evaluation of a baseline threshold. Successive phases of the experiment employed adap ting odorant concentrations relative to this baseline: 0.25, 0.5, 1.0, or 2.0 times baseline threshold concentration. To control for experience and ordering effects, the adapting odorant presentation sequence was randomized for each participant. As demon strated in Figure 2 2, trials within all experimental conditions followed the same progression of stimulus presentation. Shortly after the beginning of a trial, subjects were presented with the 1500 ms adapting stimulus. The 600 ms target (S+ or S ) was presented during the 1500 ms adapting stimulus presentation, following a 500 ms onset delay is equivalent to a 500 ms exposure to the adapting stimulus and was selected for two reasons 500 ms is slightly l onger than the 319 ms time constant established for the onset of perceptual adaptation, and this onset delay was previously demonstrated to produce consistent, near complete adaptation across subjects when using a twice threshold adapting stimulus (Smith, et al., 2010). To ensure that changes in threshold were not due to long term adaptation effects would render estimations of acute adaptation processes inaccurate. Any su bject who exhibited a change in discrimination threshold for the S+ alone would have been removed from the experiment. No subjects, however, exhibited such long term effects. Due to time constraints, the attenuating effects of every adapting stimulus con centration could not be tested on every subject. This limitation was addressed, however, through

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16 the quasi random ordering of adapting stimuli and the selection of a Wilcoxon signed rank test to examine differences between experimental conditions.

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17 Figure 2 1. Schematic depiction of olfactometer. Ambient room air was pumped through a charcoal filter and divided into separately controlled stimulus and carrier air streams. Presentation and relative timing of adapting and target stimuli were controll ed by a series of pinch valves which delivered the stimuli into the carrier stream, through a mixing ball and to the sampling mask. The odorants were flushed out of the sampling mask and into evacuation tubing by an inline fan. To ensure consistent, rela tive stimulus timing, the S+ (target + diluent) and S (diluent alone) saturation bottles were fixed in position on the manifold upstr eam from the adapting odorant. ( Reprinted with p e r mission of Smith D avid, Gamble K atherine and Heil T om 2010. A novel psychophysical method for estimating olfactory rapid adaptation in humans. Chem ical Senses. 35:8 717 725. )

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18 Figure 2 2. Schematic of stimulus conditions in the simultaneous presentation alone, in the presence of a null background (top line). In subsequent sessions (bottom three lines), subjects attempt to detect the target odor in the presence of a s imultaneous adapting odorant that varied in concentration between experimental conditions. Time is represented on the horizontal axis; odorant concentration is represented on the ordinate axis.

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19 CHAPTER 3 RESULTS Initial baseline threshold measurements f or the target odorant alone varied between subjects from 1% v/v to 10% v/v. Therefore, adapting stimulus concentrations threshold and the relative adapting odorant conce ntration. Figure 3 1 presents mean thresholds, averaged across subjects and plotted as a function of the adapting stimulus concentration. A one way analysis of variance (ANOVA) indicated that adapting odorant concentration significantly influenced subje simultaneous target, F (4, 51) = 9.579, p < .001. Results from a post hoc analysis, the Wilcoxon signed rank test, indicated that threshold measurements for each adapting odorant condition were significantly in creased as compared to those for the target odorant alone (Table 3 detection thresholds between adapting odorant conditions (0.25, 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 times threshold).

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20 Figure 3 1. Mean detect ion thresholds for each adapting stimulus condition. A null baseline sensitivity for the target odor. Experimental conditions with mean thresholds differing significantly from the null condition are indicated with an asterisk (*). Mean threshold concentrations for all experimental conditions (0.25, 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 times baseline threshold) differed significantly from the mean threshold concentration in the null condition. Error ba rs represent +/ 1 standard error of the mean.

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21 Table 3 1. Comparison of mean detection thresholds for adapting odorant conditions compared with the mean detection threshold for the null condition Adapting Odorant Concentration Z score P value 1/4 Thresho ld 2.67* 0.008 1/2 Threshold 2.81* 0.005 Threshold Level 2.68* 0.007 Twice Threshold 2.21* 0.027 Pairwise Comparisons were performed with a Wilcoxon sign rank test. Significant comparisons indicated with

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22 CHAPTER 4 DISCUSSION Given the probl ematic stimulus discontinuities present in serial presentation approaches to evaluating adaptation, the effects of peri threshold stimuli on subject detection of a target odor were investigated using the simultaneous presentation method. Subjects exhibited threshold increases for detection of the target stimulus in the presence of adapting stimuli above, near, and below detection thresholds. Mean thresholds for the target odor alone and the 2.0 times threshold condition are consistent with those presented b y Smith and colleagues (2010), who also employed the simultaneous stimulation method and automated olfactometry. Many subjects in our study exhibited adaptation with exposure to odors of their original detection threshold for the target odor. Such threshold inc reases represent significant reductions in olfactory sensitivity to a stimulus following even brief exposure to peri threshold levels of that odor. Adaptation inducing effects of sub threshold odors were investigated previously erceptual olfactory adaptation in normosmics and patients and camphor were evaluated using an ascending method of limits. Participants exhibited higher detection thre from sub threshold levels corresponding to several minutes of exposure to the peri threshold odor than when odor intensity was increased rapidly. This effect, termed corded, however, in only 10% of normosmic subjects and 50% of subjects with respiratory infections. Advantages conferred by the simultaneous presentation method, as well as advances in olfactometry in the past 50

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23 years, may have permitted our reliable ide ntification of these effects, and after comparatively brief stimulation. These psychophysical approaches can allow for observations of sub threshold revealed by observing trans duction at the level of the olfactory sensory neuron (OSN). In the most widely accepted model of olfactory transduction, detection begins when odorant molecules become trapped in the olfactory mucosa. Acting as chemical ligands, these molecules bind to rec eptors located on OSN cilia embedded in the mucosa. OSN receptors are G protein coupled receptors that, when activated, stimulate intracellular adenylyl cyclase to catalyze the conversion of ATP to cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). cAMP molecules bind to and open ion channels in the OSN membrane, leading to an influx of Ca 2+ and OSN depolarization. (Zufall and Leinders Zufall, 2000). Sustained, low level stimulation modifies this intracellular cascade, operating as the mechanism responsible for adaptat ion to sub threshold odors. Odorant binding produces increases in intracellular Ca 2+ The increase in calcium ion concentration, in turn, regulates OSN activity by modulating the transduction process in at least two key ways: adenylyl cyclase phosphoryla tion which leads to decreased cAMP production, and decreased binding affinity between cAMP and OSN membrane ion channels (Zufall and Leinders Zufall, 2000). While characterizing the former process in in vitro OSNs, Leinders Zufall, and colleagues (1999) id entified that this particular feedback process begins to affect OSN sensitivity prior to action potential generation. In addition, odorant signals too weak to activate an OSN were shown to induce adenylyl cyclase phosphorylation and decreased cAMP

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24 producti on. Together, these findings suggest that even at the olfactory periphery, within individual OSNs, olfactory stimuli can reduce sensitivity without giving rise to detection. Threshold changes observed in the present study represent the perceptual effects of self adaptation, where exposure to an odor decreases sensitivity for that odor, and much of the research examining perceptual olfactory adaptation has focused on this effect (c.f. Pryor, et al., 1970; Dalton, 2000; Kelliher, et al., 2003). Some evidence exists, however, for cross adaptation, in which exposure to one odor inhibits perception of dissimilar odorants (c.f. Cain and Polak 1992; Pierce, et al. 1996). Findings from these studies indicate that while cross adaptation may occur following exposure to specific odors, sensitivity suppression is normally limited to a small number of structurally and perceptually similar odorants, and cross adaptation effects are less pronounced that those observed in self adaptation. Sub induce cross adaptation has not yet been however an effect referred to as mixture agonism (Miyazawa, et al., 2009b) has been demonstrated. Using a manually operate d sniff bottle procedure, Laska and Hudson (1991) demonstrated perceptual mixture agonism. Subjects exhibited lower thresholds for 3 6 or 12 component odorant mixtures, than for their unmixed component odorants. More recently, Miyazawa and colleagues (2008b) provided further evidence of synergy in olfactory perception. Automated olfactometry similar to that described in the current study was used to present subjects with brief (2.5 seconds) pulses of maple lactone, an odorant, either alone or in a bina ry mixture with sub threshold levels of dissimilar odorants, acetic or butyric acid. Subjects exhibited lower

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25 detection thresholds for the binary mixtures of maple lactone than for the odorant alone, trating further that peri threshold odors can facilitate olfactory sensitivity. A growing literature on perithreshold odor interactions continues to demonstrate mixture agonism (c.f. Miyazawa, et al., 2009a; Miyazawa, et al., 2008a). Findings from studies of particular odorant combinations, however, suggest that the level of facilitation depends on the structural similarity of odorants (Wise, et al., 2007) and number of components in the odor mixture (Miyazawa, et al., 2009b). The involvement of peri th reshold stimuli in shaping perception is not limited to olfaction. Sub threshold olfactory stimuli, for example, have been demonstrated to enhance the dectectability of particular tastants (c.f. Dalton, et al., 2000; Labbe, et al., 2007; Labbe and Martin, 2009). In addition, studies of contrast gain adaptation in vision (Kohn, 2007) and medial efferent mediated auditory adaptation (Winslow and Sachs, 1987) demonstrate that other sensory modalities possess the ability to adapt to subtle environmental element s. Such studies of the sensory periphery, as well as evidence of adaptation in the olfactory cortex (Kadohisa and Wilson, 2006) suggest that these processes facilitate figure ground discrimination suppressing detection of even weak redundant stimuli may fa cilitate the detection of novel signals. Future studies of perceptual olfactory adaptation to peri threshold stimuli could specifically investigate its function in enhancing figure ground discrimination. Such a etect a brief target odor in the presence of a dissimilar masking agent, with or without prior exposure to sub threshold levels of the masking odor. Future research could also extend the present findings in two key ways

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26 by characterizing the time course fo r the loss and recovery of sensitivity with exposure to sub threshold stimuli, and by examining the specific effects of a broader range of odorants. These examinations would provide an opportunity to directly compare these data with those characterizing s upra threshold stimuli.

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27 REFERENCE LIST Amirov RZ. 1959. Effect of sub threshold olfactory stimuli on the sensitivity of the sense of smell in normal and pathological conditions. By Exp Biol Med USSR. 47:562 565. Bodyak N, Slotnick B. 1999. Performance of mice in an automated olfactometer: O dor detection, discrimination and odor memory. Chem Senses. 24:637 645. Cain and Polak. 1992. Olfactory adaptation as an aspect of odor similarity. Chem Senses. 17: 481 491. Dalton P. 2000. Psychophysical and behavio ral characteristics of olfactory adaptation. Chem Senses. 25:487 492. Dalton P, Doolittle H, Nagata, and Br e slin P 2000. Merging of the senses: I ntegration of subthreshold taste and smell. Nat Neurosci. 3:5 431 432. Hernandez Salazar L, Laska M, Rodriguez Luna E. 2003. Olfactory sensitivity for aliphatic esters in spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi). Behav Neurosci. 117:1142 1149. Kadohisa M, Wilson D. 2006. Olfactory cortical adaptation facilitates detection of odors against background. J Neurophysiol. 95:1 888 1896. Kelliher K, Ziesmann J, Munger S, Reed R, Zufall F. 2003. Importance of the CNGA4 channel gene for odor discrimination and adaptation in behaving mice. P Natl Acad Sci USA. 100:4299 4304. Kohn, A. 2007. Visual adaptation: physiology, mechanisms, and functional benefits. J Neurophysiol. 97:3155 3164. Labbe D, Rytz A, Morgenegg C, Ali S, and Martin N. 2007. Subthreshold olfactory stimulation can enhance sweetness. Chem Senses Labbe D, and Martin N. 2009. Impact of Novel Olfactory Stimuli at Supra an d Subthreshold Concentrations on the Perceived Sweetness of Sucrose after Associative Learning. Chem Senses. 34:645 651. Laska M, Hudson R. 1991. A comparison of the detection thresholds of odor mixtures and their components. Chem Senses. 16:6, 651 662. La ska M, Seibt A. 2002. Olfactory sensitivity for aliphatic esters in squirrel monkeys and pigtail macaques. Behav Brain Res.134:165 174. Leinders Zufall T, Ma M, Zufall F. 1999. Impaired odor adaptation in olfactory receptor neurons after inhibition of Ca2+ /calmodulin kinase II. J Neurosci. 19:1 6.

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28 Linster C, Johnson B, Yue E, Morse A, Xu Z, Hingco E, Choi Y, Messiha A, Leon M. 2001. Perceptual correlates of neural representations evoked by odorant enantiomers. J Neurosci 21:24 9837 9843. Miyazawa T, Gallagh er M, Preti G, Wise P. 2008. The impact of subthreshold carboxylic acids on the odor intensity of suprathreshold flavor compounds. Chem Percept. 1:163 167. Miyazawa T, Gallagher M, Preti G, Wise P. 2008. Synergistic Mixture Interactions in Detection of Per ithreshold Odors by Humans. Chem Senses. 33:363 369. Miyazawa T, Gallagher M, Preti G, Wise P. 2009. Odor detection of mixtures of homologous carboxylic acids and coffee aroma compounds by humans. J Agr Food Chem. 57:9895 9901. Pierce JD, Wysocki CJ, Arono v EV, Webb JB, Boden RM. 1996. The role of perceptual and structural similarity in cross adaptation. Chem Senses 21:2 223 37 Pryor G, Steinmetz G, Stone H. 1970. Changes in absolute detection threshold and in subjective intensity of suprathreshold stimuli during olfactory adaptation and recovery. Percept Psychophys. 8:5 331 333. Smith D, Gamble K, Heil T. 2010. A novel psychophysical method for estimating olfactory rapid adaptation in humans. Chem Senses. 35:8 717 725. Stone H, Pryor G, Steinmetz, G. 1972. Comparison of olfactory adaptation among 7 odorants and their relationship with several physiochemical properties. Percept Psychophys. 12:6 501 504. Winslow R, Sachs M. 1987. Effect of electrical stimulation of the crossed olivocochlear bundle on auditory nerve response to tones in noise. J Neurophysiol. 57:1002 1021 Wise P, Miyazawa T, Gallagher M, and Preti G. 2007. Human odor detection of homologous carboxylic acids and their binary mixtures. Chem Senses. 32:475 482. Wuttke M, Tompkins L. 2000. Olfactor y adaptation is TRP independent in Drosophila larvae. J Neurogen. 14:43 62. Zufall F, Leinders Zufall, T. 2000. The cellular and molecular basis of odor adaptation. Chem Senses. 25:473 481.

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29 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Ryan R. Keith received his B.A. in psychol ogy from the New College of Florida in 2007. For his undergraduate thesis project s upervised by Dr. Gordon Bauer, Keith investigated he continued his research in sensory processes, studying olfactory performance in humans and mice, which developed into the research for his M.S. thesis.