JoVE Logo
Faculty Resource Center

Sign In

Summary

Abstract

Introduction

Protocol

Representative Results

Discussion

Acknowledgements

Materials

References

Behavior

Olfactory Context Dependent Memory: Direct Presentation of Odorants

Published: September 18th, 2018

DOI:

10.3791/58170

1Institut für Psychologie, Universität Hildesheim

The use of an olfactometer for directly presenting odorants opens exciting opportunities for researchers of olfactory memory. The current paper discusses issues related to this methodology as related to a previously published experiment on olfactory context dependent memory.

Information is retrieved more effectively when the retrieval occurs in the same context as that in which the information was first encoded. This is termed context dependent memory (CDM). One category of cues that have been shown to effectively produce CDM effects are odors. However, it is unclear what the boundary conditions of these CDM effects are. In particular, given that olfaction has been called an implicit sense, it is possible that odors are only effective mnemonic cues when they are presented in the background. This assertion seems even more likely given that previous research has shown odors to be poor cues during paired associate memory tests, where odors are in the focus of attention as mnemonic cues for other information. In order to determine whether odors are only effective contextual mnemonic cues when presented outside the central focus of an observer, an olfactory CDM experiment was performed in which odorants were presented directly, rather than ambiently. Direct presentation was accomplished with the aid of an olfactometer. The olfactometer not only allows for direct presentation of odorants, but provides other methodological benefits, including the allowance of trial by trial manipulations of odorant presentations and, relatedly, time-specific releases of odorants. The presence of the same odor during both encoding and retrieval enhanced memory performance, regardless of whether the odor was presented ambiently or directly. This finding can serve as a basis for future olfactory CDM research which can utilize the benefits of direct presentation.

Retrieval is enhanced when it occurs in the same context as encoding1,2; this is termed context dependent memory (CDM). Many stimuli have been shown to be effective contextual cues for enhancing retrieval3. In line with this general research, it has been shown that information that is learned and retrieved in the presence of the same odor is remembered better than information that is retrieved in the presence of a different odor4 or information that is neither learned nor retrieved in the presence of an extra olfactory context5; this has b....

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

All data collection in the original experiment15 was performed in accordance with the ethical guidelines of the American Psychological Association as well as the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Helsinki. The experiment was preapproved by the local Ethik-Kommission (equivalent to an Institutional Review Board). All subjects were made aware that their participation was voluntary and could at any time and without fear of penalty be terminated. All subjects signed informed consent.

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

One of the main purposes of the current experiment was to determine whether OCDM effects could be found when the olfactory context was presented directly, rather than ambiently. There were three main dependent variables (in line with common signal detection theory analyses26): the proportion of hits, the proportion of false alarms, and a corrected accuracy score termed d'. Given the focus of interest here, the data from the two odor groups from the ori.......

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

The method described here, in which an olfactometer is used to directly present odorants as contextual stimuli, represents an expansion of the utility of olfactometers in olfactory memory research16,17. Specifically, this method allows for an expansion of the area of OCDM research. Previous research had shown that odors are indeed effective contextual mnemonic cues4,14, but all research to this point has .......

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

The authors have no acknowledgements.

....

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

Name Company Catalog Number Comments
Olfactometer Burghart Messtechnik OG001 Discrete presentation olfactometer
Odiferous material_Onion Burghart Messtechnik LA-13-00236 Liquid used in olfactometer to produce onion odor
Odiferous material_Peach Burghart Messtechnik LA-13-00245 Liquid used in olfactometer to produce peach odor
E-Prime 2.0 Psychology Software Tools Experiment control software

  1. Godden, D. R., Baddeley, A. D. Context-dependent memory in two natural environments: On land and underwater. British Journal of Psychology. 66, 325-331 (1975).
  2. Smith, S. M., Vela, E. Environmental context-dependent memory: A review and meta-analysis. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. 8, 203-220 (2001).
  3. Isarida, T., Isarida, T. K., Thornton, A. J. Environmental context-dependent memory. Advances in Experimental Psychology. , 115-151 (2014).
  4. Cann, A., Ross, D. A. Olfactory stimuli as context cues in human memory. The American Journal of Psychology. 102, 91-102 (1989).
  5. Herz, R. S. Emotion experienced during encoding enhances odor retrieval cue effectiveness. The American Journal of Psychology. 110, 489-505 (1997).
  6. Engen, T., Ross, B. M. Long-term memory of odors with and without descriptions. Journal of Experimental Psychology. 100, 221-227 (1973).
  7. Larsson, M., Willander, J., Karlsson, K., Arshamian, A. Olfactory LOVER: Behavioral and neural correlates of autobiographical odor memory. Frontiers in Psychology. , (2014).
  8. Lawless, H., Engen, T. Associations to odors: Interference, mnemonics, and verbal labeling. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning and Memory. 3, 52-59 (1977).
  9. Kärnekull, S. C., Jönsson, F. U., Willander, J., Sikström, S., Larsson, M. Long-term memory for odors: Influences of familiarity and identification across 64 days. Chemical Senses. 40, 259-267 (2015).
  10. Cain, W. S. To know with the nose: Keys to odor identification. Science. 203, 467-470 (1979).
  11. Smeets, M. A. M., Dijksterhuis, G. B. Smelly primes - when olfactory primes do or do not work. Frontiers in Psychology. , (2014).
  12. Davis, R. G. Acquisition of verbal associations to olfactory stimuli of varying familiarity and to abstract visual stimuli. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning and Memory. 1, 134-142 (1975).
  13. Davis, R. G. Acquisition and retention of verbal associations to olfactory and abstract visual stimuli of varying similarity. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning and Memory. 3, 37-51 (1977).
  14. Isarida, T., Sakai, T., Kubota, T., Koga, M., Katayama, Y., Isarida, T. K. Odor-context effects in free recall after a short retention interval: A new methodology for controlling adaptation. Mem Cognit. 42, 421-433 (2014).
  15. Hackländer, R. P. M., Bermeitinger, C. Olfactory context-dependent memory and the effects of affective congruency. Chemical Senses. 42, 777-788 (2017).
  16. Frank, R. A., Rybalsky, K., Brearton, M., Mannea, E. Odor recognition memory as a function of odor-naming performance. Chemical Senses. 36, 29-41 (2011).
  17. Herz, R. S., Eliassen, J., Beland, S., Souza, T. Neuroimaging evidence for the emotional potency of odor-evoked memory. Neuropsychologia. 42, 371-378 (2004).
  18. Doty, R. L., Cameron, E. L. Sex differences and reproductive hormone influences on human odor perception. Physiology & Behavior. 97, 213-228 (2009).
  19. Doty, R. L., Shaman, P., Applebaum, S. L., Giberson, R., Siksorski, L., Rosenberg, L. Smell identification ability: Changes with wage. Science. 226, 1441-1443 (1984).
  20. Herz, R., Engen, T. Odor memory: Review and analysis. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. 3, 300-313 (1996).
  21. Olofsson, J. K. Time to smell: A cascade model of human olfactory perception based on response-time (RT) measurement. Frontiers in Psychology. , (2014).
  22. Moss, A. G., Miles, C., Elsley, J. V., Johnson, A. J. Odorant normative data for use in olfactory memory experiments: Dimension selection and analysis of individual differences. Frontiers in Psychology. , (2016).
  23. Ayabe-Kanamura, S., Schicker, I., Laska, M., Hudson, R., Distel, H., Kobayakawa, T., Saito, S. Differences in perception of everyday odors: A Japanese-German cross-cultural study. Chemical Senses. 23, 31-38 (1998).
  24. Hermans, D., Baeyens, F., Eelen, P. Odours as affective-processing context for word evaluation: A case of cross-modal affective priming. Cognition & Emotion. 12, 601-613 (1998).
  25. Lundström, J. N., Gordon, A. R., Alden, E. C., Boesveldt, S., Albrecht, J. Methods for building an inexpensive computer-controlled olfactometer for temporally precise experiments. International Journal of Psychophysiology. 78, 179-189 (2010).
  26. Stanislaw, H., Todorov, N. Calculation of signal detection theory measures. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers. 31, 137-149 (1999).
  27. Isarida, T., Isarida, T. K., Sakai, T. Effects of study time and meaningfulness on environmental context-dependent recognition. Memory & Cognition. 40, 1225-1235 (2012).

This article has been published

Video Coming Soon

JoVE Logo

Privacy

Terms of Use

Policies

Research

Education

ABOUT JoVE

Copyright © 2024 MyJoVE Corporation. All rights reserved