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Identification of new behavioral parameters to assess odorant hedonic value in humans: A naturalistic approach

Abstract : Background: When you smell an odorant, your first reaction will certainly be either I like it or I dislike it. This primary reaction is a reflection of what is called the "hedonic value" of the odor. Very often, this hedonic value dominates the olfactory percept, more than olfactory identification or intensity. This component of olfactory perception is of primary importance for guiding behavior: avoiding danger (the smell of smoke, gas, etc.), consuming food, or seduction. Olfactory hedonics can be assessed using a large number of methods in humans, including psychophysical measures, autonomic responses, measurement of facial expressions or peripheral nervous activity. All of these techniques have their limitations: subjectivity, invasiveness, need for expertise, etc. A NEW METHOD: The olfactory system is closely linked to the reward system, the role of which is to mediate motivated behavior. In this context, we propose that the capacity odorants have of recruiting the reward system and thus inducing motivated behavior can be used to identify new behavioral parameters to assess odor hedonic value in humans. Results: We recorded freely moving human participants exploring odors emanating from flasks, and showed that five parameters linked to motivated behavior were closely linked to odor hedonics: speed of approach to the nose and withdrawal of the flask containing the odorant, distance between flask and nose, number of samplings, and withdrawal distance (maximal distance between nose and flask after odor sampling). Conclusions: We highlighted new non-verbal and non-invasive parameters to evaluate olfactory hedonics in humans based on the assessment of odor-motivated behavior.
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Contributor : Nathalie Mandairon Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, August 23, 2022 - 4:48:56 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, September 24, 2022 - 3:04:06 PM

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Laura Chalençon, Marc Thevenet, Norbert Noury, Moustafa Bensafi, Nathalie Mandairon. Identification of new behavioral parameters to assess odorant hedonic value in humans: A naturalistic approach. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, Elsevier, 2022, 366, pp.109422. ⟨10.1016/j.jneumeth.2021.109422⟩. ⟨hal-03759070⟩



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