influence of smell loss

influence of smell loss - Behavioral Neuroscience 2010 Vol...

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Influence of Smell Loss on Taste Function Natalie Stinton, Muhammad Ali Atif, Nureen Barkat, and Richard L. Doty University of Pennsylvania The influence of damage to one sensory system on the functioning of other sensory systems has been of scientific interest for over a century. Recently it has been suggested that damage to the olfactory system (CN I) decreases the ability to taste; that is, to perceive sweet, sour, bitter and salty sensations via CN VII, IX, and X. If true, this would be in contrast to most other sensory systems, where compromise typically leads to either cross-modal enhancement of function or to no effects at all. In the present study, data from both regional and whole-mouth taste tests of 581 patients presenting to a smell and taste center with varying degrees of olfactory function were evaluated to address whether olfactory loss is associated with taste loss. No significant influence of olfactory dysfunction on any measure of taste perception was found when the effects of sex, age, and etiology were controlled. These data suggest that smell loss, per se, has no meaningful influence on taste function, and that clinical associations between smell and taste dysfunction, when observed, likely reflect comorbid influences. Keywords: taste, smell, synesthesia, odor identification, psychophysics The influence of damage to one sensory system on the func- tioning of other sensory systems has been of scientific interest for over a hundred years (e.g., Galton, 1883). In the case of vision, blind persons who read Braille outperform their sighted counter- parts on tactile and auditory tests, including those of tactile dis- crimination and auditory localization (Muchnik, Efrati, Nemeth, Malin, & Hildesheimer, 1991; Hotting & Roder, 2009; Roder, Rosler, & Neville, 2001). Moreover, the normal age-related de- cline in finger tactile sensitivity is attenuated in the blind (Legge, is presumably involved, since the lowest tactile thresholds are found in the finger most used in Braille reading (Van Boven, has also been associated with a greater ability to identify odors this phenomenon and training, independent of blindness, markedly 1993). It is interesting that sighted persons temporarily made blind, by wearing a blindfold for 5 days, exhibit, like blind persons, enhanced cortical activity to touch within the occipital cortex (Merabet et al., 2008). This phenomenon, which reflects cortical plasticity, suggests that relatively short periods of sensory depri- vation can lead to the activation of previously dormant or inhibited cortical connections (Buchel, Price, Frackowiak, & Friston, 1998; Merabet et al., 2008). Similar observations have also been reported for audition. Deaf
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This note was uploaded on 09/21/2011 for the course MOSAIC 0852 taught by Professor Raymondhalnon during the Spring '09 term at Temple.

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influence of smell loss - Behavioral Neuroscience 2010 Vol...

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