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Chemical Senses

L Koehler, A Fournel, K Albertowski, V Roessner, J Gerber, C Hummel, T Hummel, M Bensafi
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are characterized by atypical sensory functioning in the visual, tactile, and auditory systems. Although less explored, olfactory changes have been reported in ASD patients. To explore these changes on a neural level, 18 adults with ASD and 18 healthy neurotypical controls were examined in a 2-phase study. Participants were first tested for odor threshold and odor identification. Then, (i) structural magnetic resonance (MR) images of the olfactory bulb were acquired, and (ii) a functional MR imaging olfaction study was conducted...
September 14, 2018: Chemical Senses
Caterina Dinnella, Erminio Monteleone, Maria Piochi, Sara Spinelli, John Prescott, Lapo Pierguidi, Flavia Gasperi, Monica Laureati, Ella Pagliarini, Stefano Predieri, Luisa Torri, Sara Barbieri, Enrico Valli, Piergiorgio Bianchi, Ada Braghieri, Alessandra Del Caro, Rossella Di Monaco, Saida Favotto, Elisabetta Moneta
Despite considerable research investigating the role of PROP bitterness perception and variation of fungiform papillae density (FPD) in food perception, this relationship remains controversial as well as the association between the two phenotypes. Data from 1119 subjects (38.6% male; 18-60 years) enrolled in the Italian Taste project were analysed. Responsiveness to the bitterness of PROP was assessed on the general Labelled Magnitude Scale. FPD was determined from manual counting on digital images of the tongue...
September 10, 2018: Chemical Senses
Joyce Tang, Steven L Youngentob, John I Glendinning
The aversive flavor of ethanol limits intake by many consumers. We asked whether intermittent consumption of ethanol increases its oral acceptability, using rats as a model system. We focused on adolescent rats because they (like their human counterparts) have a higher risk for alcohol overconsumption than do adult rats following experience with the drug. We measured the impact of ethanol exposure on (i) the oral acceptability of ethanol and surrogates for its bitter (quinine) and sweet (sucrose) flavor components in brief-access lick tests; and (ii) responses of the glossopharyngeal (GL) taste nerve to oral stimulation with the same chemical stimuli...
August 29, 2018: Chemical Senses
Julie L Colvin, Alexa J Pullicin, Juyun Lim
Previous studies have shown that there are differences in taste responses between various regions of the tongue. Most of those studies used a controlled 'passive' tasting mode due to the nature of investigation. However, food is rarely tasted in a passive manner. In addition, recent studies have suggested that humans can taste maltooligosaccharides (MOS) and that the gustatory detection of MOS is independent of the known sweet receptor. It is unknown whether regional differences in responsiveness to MOS exist...
August 27, 2018: Chemical Senses
Maud Sigoillot, Anne Brockhoff, Fabrice Neiers, Nicolas Poirier, Christine Belloir, Pierre Legrand, Christophe Charron, Pierre Roblin, Wolfgang Meyerhof, Loïc Briand
Gurmarin is a highly specific sweet-taste suppressing protein in rodents that is isolated from the Indian plant Gymnemasylvestre. Gurmarin consists of 35 amino acid residues containing three intramolecular disulfide bridges that form a cystine knot. Here, we report the crystal structure of gurmarin at a 1.45 Å resolution and compare it with previously reported NMR solution structures. The atomic structure at this resolution allowed us to identify a very flexible region consisting of hydrophobic residues. Some of these amino acid residues had been identified as a putative binding site for the rat sweet taste receptor in a previous study...
August 18, 2018: Chemical Senses
Allison N Baker, Anjelica M Miranda, Nicole L Garneau, John E Hayes
TAS2R38 gene variants, which confer sensitivity to specific bitter tastants (e.g., 6-n-propylthiouracil), have been repeatedly associated with lower alcohol use via greater bitterness perception, but research exploring TAS2R38 variation in relation to smoking shows mixed results. In both, the working hypothesis is that 1 or more copies of the functional allele increase bitterness and may provide a barrier to early use. Such a barrier to initiation may, conceivably, manifest as differential rates of current use across diplotypes...
August 18, 2018: Chemical Senses
Cécilia Tremblay, Johannes Frasnelli
The olfactory and trigeminal systems are intimately connected as most odorants stimulate both sensory systems. They interact by mutually suppressing and enhancing each other. However, the location and the degree of their interaction remain unclear. One method to test sensitivity in the trigeminal system is the odor localization task: when an odorant is presented to one nostril, we are able to localize the stimulated nostril only if the odorant stimulates the trigeminal nerve. Our objective was to evaluate the interaction between olfactory and trigeminal system by measuring the effect of an olfactory co-stimulation on the ability to localize a trigeminal stimulus...
July 25, 2018: Chemical Senses
Valentin A Schriever, Janine Gellrich, Maja von der Hagen, Thomas Hummel
Olfactory function can be influenced by many factors and olfactory dysfunction is associated with several diseases. But even considering this, the causes of acquired olfactory dysfunction in children are not well understood. This review was conducted to gain an overview of the etiologies of acquired olfactory dysfunction in a pediatric population. Studies were identified using a predefined literature search including studies if patients were ≤18 years of age and results of psychophysical olfactory testing were reported...
July 18, 2018: Chemical Senses
Rik Sijben, Sonja Maria Hoffmann-Hensel, Rea Rodriguez-Raecke, Thomas Haarmeier, Jessica Freiherr
Previous research has shown that humans struggle to interpret multiple perceptual signals when the information provided by these signals is incongruent. In the context of olfactory-visual integration, behavioral and neuronal differences in response to congruent and incongruent stimulus pairs have been established. Here, we explored functional connectivity of the human brain with regards to the perception of congruent and incongruent food stimuli. Participants were simultaneously presented olfactory and visual stimuli of four different food objects, two healthy and two unhealthy objects...
July 14, 2018: Chemical Senses
Torben Noto, Guangyu Zhou, Stephan Schuele, Jessica Templer, Christina Zelano
Nasal inhalation is the basis of olfactory perception and drives neural activity in olfactory and limbic brain regions. Therefore, our ability to investigate the neural underpinnings of olfaction and respiration can only be as good as our ability to characterize features of respiratory behavior. However, recordings of natural breathing are inherently non-stationary, non-sinusoidal, and idiosyncratic making feature extraction difficult to automate. The absence of a freely-available computational tool for characterizing respiratory behavior is a hindrance to many facets of olfactory and respiratory neuroscience...
July 7, 2018: Chemical Senses
Charles Spence, Qian Janice Wang
Complexity is a term that is often invoked by those writing appreciatively about the taste, aroma/bouquet, and/or flavor of food and drink. Typically, the term is used as though everyone knows what is being talked about. Rarely is any explanation given, and the discussion soon moves on to other topics. However, oftentimes it is not at all clear what, exactly, is being referred to. A number of possibilities are outlined here, including physical complexity at the level of individual molecules, at the level of combinations of molecules giving rise to a specific flavor profile (e...
August 24, 2018: Chemical Senses
Mackenzie Hannum, Margaret A Stegman, Jenna A Fryer, Christopher T Simons
The Duality of Smell hypothesis suggests odorants delivered orthonasally elicit different sensations compared with those delivered retronasally despite activating the same receptors in the olfactory epithelium. Presently, we investigated this further using a matching paradigm free from odorant or semantic memory bias. Subjects were asked to evaluate an aroma delivered in one condition (orthonasal or retronasal delivery) and match the same aroma from 4 unknowns evaluated in the same or different delivery conditions...
August 24, 2018: Chemical Senses
Stephen P Wooding
Ability to perceive the bitter compound phenylthiocarbamide (PTC) is inherited via a dominant "taster" allele of the TAS2R38 gene, whereas inability is inherited via a recessive "non-taster" allele. This raises a question: Is the non-taster allele functionless, or does it mediate perception of compounds other than PTC? New evidence supports speculation that it is indeed functional. Associations between TAS2R38 mutations and bitter sensitivity to the tropical berry Antidesma bunius are the inverse of those PTC, suggesting that the non-taster allele enables perception to compounds in the fruit...
August 24, 2018: Chemical Senses
K John Thomas, K Prathapan Preeji, Sreedharan Ranjith
Bruce effect or alien male-induced implantation failure is a well-studied phenomenon in mice. The presence of stud male during exposure to an alien male protects the female from implantation failure. The pheromones of the stud male are imprinted in the female at the time of mating and act as a luteotrophic agent. We tested whether a nonpheromonal cue exposed to the female during pericopulatory sensitive period could protect pregnancy in newly inseminated females exposed to alien males. Virgin females were allowed to mate in the presence of a cotton ball smeared with groundnut oil as a nonpheromonal cue...
August 24, 2018: Chemical Senses
Agnieszka Sorokowska, Agata Groyecka, Maciej Karwowski, Tomasz Frackowiak, Jennifer E Lansford, Khodabakhsh Ahmadi, Ahmad M Alghraibeh, Richmond Aryeetey, Anna Bertoni, Karim Bettache, Sheyla Blumen, Marta Blazejewska, Tiago Bortolini, Marina Butovskaya, Katarzyna Cantarero, Felipe Nalon Castro, Hakan Cetinkaya, Lei Chang, Bin-Bin Chen, Diana Cunha, Daniel David, Oana A David, Fahd A Dileym, Alejandra Del Carmen Domínguez Espinosa, Silvia Donato, Daria Dronova, Seda Dural, Jitka Fialová, Maryanne Fisher, Evrim Gulbetekin, Aslihan Hamamcioglu Akkaya, Peter Hilpert, Ivana Hromatko, Raffaella Iafrate, Mariana Iesyp, Bawo James, Jelena Jaranovic, Feng Jiang, Charles Obadiah Kimamo, Grete Kjelvik, Firat Koç, Amos Laar, Fívia de Araújo Lopes, Guillermo Macbeth, Nicole M Marcano, Rocio Martinez, Norbert Mesko, Natalya Molodovskaya, Khadijeh Moradi Qezeli, Zahrasadat Motahari, Alexandra Mühlhauser, Jean Carlos Natividade, Joseph Ntayi, Elisabeth Oberzaucher, Oluyinka Ojedokun, Mohd Sofian Bin Omar-Fauzee, Ike E Onyishi, Anna Paluszak, John D Pierce, Urmila Pillay, Alda Portugal, Eugenia Razumiejczyk, Anu Realo, Ana Paula Relvas, Maria Rivas, Muhammad Rizwan, Svjetlana Salkicevic, Ivan Sarmány-Schuller, Susanne Schmehl, Oksana Senyk, Charlotte Sinding, Emma Sorbring, Eftychia Stamkou, Stanislava Stoyanova, Denisa Šukolová, Nina Sutresna, Meri Tadinac, Sombat Tapanya, Andero Teras, Edna Lúcia Tinoco Ponciano, Ritu Tripathi, Nachiketa Tripathi, Mamta Tripathi, Olja Uhryn, Maria Emília Yamamoto, Gyesook Yoo, Piotr Sorokowski
Olfaction plays an important role in human social communication, including multiple domains in which people often rely on their sense of smell in the social context. The importance of the sense of smell and its role can however vary inter-individually and culturally. Despite the growing body of literature on differences in olfactory performance or hedonic preferences across the globe, the aspects of a given culture as well as culturally universal individual differences affecting odor awareness in human social life remain unknown...
August 24, 2018: Chemical Senses
Julia Machon, Philippe Lucas, Juliette Ravaux, Magali Zbinden
Chemoreception might play an important role for endemic shrimp that inhabit deep and dark hydrothermal vents to find food sources and to locate active edifices that release specific chemicals. We compared the chemosensory abilities of the hydrothermal shrimp Mirocaris fortunata and the coastal related species, Palaemon elegans. The detection of diverse ecologically relevant chemical stimuli by the antennal appendages was measured with electroantennography. The 2 species can detect food-related odor and sulfide, a short-distance stimulus, via both their antennae and antennules...
August 24, 2018: Chemical Senses
Sonia D Hudson, Charles A Sims, Asli Z Odabasi, Thomas A Colquhoun, Derek J Snyder, Jennifer J Stamps, Shawn C Dotson, Lorenzo Puentes, Linda M Bartoshuk
Taste and flavor (retronasal olfaction) interact in the brain. The rules of that interaction are not well understood. This study uses 2 taste modifiers that alter sweet to examine the effects on flavors. Subjects used the Global Sensory Intensity Scale to assess the aroma, sweetness, sourness, and flavor of 10 foods. As previous work had shown, miracle fruit added sweetness to acids, which secondarily reduced sourness (mixture suppression) and Gymnema sylvestre reduced sweetness in sweet foods as well as the sweetness induced by miracle fruit...
August 24, 2018: Chemical Senses
Davide Risso, Eduardo Sainz, Gabriella Morini, Sergio Tofanelli, Dennis Drayna
It was shown more than 40 years ago that the ability to perceive the bitterness of the fruit of the Antidesma bunius tree is inversely correlated with the ability to perceive the well-studied bitter tastant phenylthiocarbamide (PTC). To determine if variants of the TAS2R38 gene, which encodes the PTC taste receptor, or variants in any of the other TAS2R bitter or TAS1R sweet receptor genes account for Antidesma taste perception, we recruited an independent subject sample and examined associations between these taste receptor gene haplotypes and Antidesma perception...
August 24, 2018: Chemical Senses
Supreet Saluja, Richard J Stevenson
People make reliable and consistent matches between taste and color. However, in contrast to other cross-modal correspondences, all of the research to date has used only taste words (and often color words too), potentially limiting our understanding of how taste-color matches arise. Here, participants sampled the 5 basic tastes, at 3 concentration steps, and selected their best matching color from a color wheel. This test was repeated, and in addition, participants evaluated the valence of the taste and their color choice, as well as the qualities/intensities of the taste stimuli...
August 24, 2018: Chemical Senses
Valentin A Schriever, Janine Gellrich, Nora Rochor, Ilona Croy, Helene Cao-Van, Mario Rüdiger, Thomas Hummel
Because of their immaturity, many premature infants are fed via nasogastric tube. One objective of the neonatal care is to feed infants orally early. The olfactory function of premature infants is developed before birth and odorants have a significant impact on nutrition in infants. The aim of the study was to test whether odor stimulation has a positive effect on the transition from gavage to oral feeding in infants. Participants were premature infants with gestational age of more than 27 weeks, with full or partial gavage feeding, stable vital parameters and without invasive ventilation...
August 24, 2018: Chemical Senses
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