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Odor Perception in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and its Relationship to Food Neophobia.

Luisier AC, Petitpierre G, Ferdenzi C, Clerc Bérod A, Giboreau A, Rouby C, Bensafi M - Front Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: Results revealed that (i) significant hedonic discrimination between attractive and aversive odors was observed in NT (p = 0.005; d = 2.378) and ASD children (p = 0.042; d = 0.941), and (ii) hedonic discrimination level was negatively correlated with food neophobia scores in ASD (p = 0.007) but not NT children.In conclusion, this study offers new insights into odor perception in ASD children, highlighting a relationship between odor hedonic reactivity and eating behavior.This opens up new perspectives on both (i) the role of olfaction in the construction of eating behavior in ASD children, and (ii) the measurement and meaning of food neophobia in this population.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Research Center in Neurosciences of Lyon, CNRS UMR5292, INSERM U1028, Claude Bernard University Lyon 1 Lyon, France ; Senso5 Foundation Sion, Switzerland ; Institute of Special Education, University of Fribourg Fribourg, Switzerland.

ABSTRACT
Atypical sensory functioning in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has been well documented in the last decade for the visual, tactile and auditory systems, but olfaction in ASD is still understudied. The aim of the present study was to examine whether children with ASD and neuro-typically (NT) developed children differed in odor perception, at the cognitive (familiarity and identification ability), sensorimotor (olfactory exploration) and affective levels (hedonic evaluation). Because an important function of the sense of smell is its involvement in eating, from food selection to appreciation and recognition, a potential link between odor perception and food neophobia was also investigated. To these ends, 10 children between 6 and 13 years old diagnosed with ASD and 10 NT control children were tested. To compare performance, 16 stimuli were used and food neophobia was assessed by the parents on a short food neophobia scale. Results revealed that (i) significant hedonic discrimination between attractive and aversive odors was observed in NT (p = 0.005; d = 2.378) and ASD children (p = 0.042; d = 0.941), and (ii) hedonic discrimination level was negatively correlated with food neophobia scores in ASD (p = 0.007) but not NT children. In conclusion, this study offers new insights into odor perception in ASD children, highlighting a relationship between odor hedonic reactivity and eating behavior. This opens up new perspectives on both (i) the role of olfaction in the construction of eating behavior in ASD children, and (ii) the measurement and meaning of food neophobia in this population.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Correlation between hedonic categorization index and food neophobia score. A significant negative correlation between odor hedonic categorization index and food neophobia score was observed in ASD children (p = 0.006) (B), but not in NT children (A).
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Figure 5: Correlation between hedonic categorization index and food neophobia score. A significant negative correlation between odor hedonic categorization index and food neophobia score was observed in ASD children (p = 0.006) (B), but not in NT children (A).

Mentions: Thirdly, results regarding a link between odor pleasantness and food neophobia revealed no significant relationship between pleasantness ratings of unpleasant odors and food neophobia scores in NT (r = -0.27, p = 0.438) or ASD children (r = 0.33, p = 0.420). However, although there was no significant relationship between pleasantness ratings of pleasant odors and food neophobia scores in NT children (r = 0.28, p = 0.424), a trend toward a negative relationship was observed in ASD children (r = -0.65, p = 0.081): ASD children who perceived “attractive” odors as less pleasant had higher neophobia scores. This relationship between odor pleasantness and food neophobia in ASD children was confirmed by analysis taking account of the odor hedonic categorization index presented above: a significant negative relationship between odor hedonic categorization index and food neophobia score was observed in ASD (r = -0.85, p = 0.007) but not NT children (r = 0.42, p = 0.226): ASD children who had difficulty in hedonically categorizing smells (low index) had higher neophobia scores (Figure 5).


Odor Perception in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and its Relationship to Food Neophobia.

Luisier AC, Petitpierre G, Ferdenzi C, Clerc Bérod A, Giboreau A, Rouby C, Bensafi M - Front Psychol (2015)

Correlation between hedonic categorization index and food neophobia score. A significant negative correlation between odor hedonic categorization index and food neophobia score was observed in ASD children (p = 0.006) (B), but not in NT children (A).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4664613&req=5

Figure 5: Correlation between hedonic categorization index and food neophobia score. A significant negative correlation between odor hedonic categorization index and food neophobia score was observed in ASD children (p = 0.006) (B), but not in NT children (A).
Mentions: Thirdly, results regarding a link between odor pleasantness and food neophobia revealed no significant relationship between pleasantness ratings of unpleasant odors and food neophobia scores in NT (r = -0.27, p = 0.438) or ASD children (r = 0.33, p = 0.420). However, although there was no significant relationship between pleasantness ratings of pleasant odors and food neophobia scores in NT children (r = 0.28, p = 0.424), a trend toward a negative relationship was observed in ASD children (r = -0.65, p = 0.081): ASD children who perceived “attractive” odors as less pleasant had higher neophobia scores. This relationship between odor pleasantness and food neophobia in ASD children was confirmed by analysis taking account of the odor hedonic categorization index presented above: a significant negative relationship between odor hedonic categorization index and food neophobia score was observed in ASD (r = -0.85, p = 0.007) but not NT children (r = 0.42, p = 0.226): ASD children who had difficulty in hedonically categorizing smells (low index) had higher neophobia scores (Figure 5).

Bottom Line: Results revealed that (i) significant hedonic discrimination between attractive and aversive odors was observed in NT (p = 0.005; d = 2.378) and ASD children (p = 0.042; d = 0.941), and (ii) hedonic discrimination level was negatively correlated with food neophobia scores in ASD (p = 0.007) but not NT children.In conclusion, this study offers new insights into odor perception in ASD children, highlighting a relationship between odor hedonic reactivity and eating behavior.This opens up new perspectives on both (i) the role of olfaction in the construction of eating behavior in ASD children, and (ii) the measurement and meaning of food neophobia in this population.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Research Center in Neurosciences of Lyon, CNRS UMR5292, INSERM U1028, Claude Bernard University Lyon 1 Lyon, France ; Senso5 Foundation Sion, Switzerland ; Institute of Special Education, University of Fribourg Fribourg, Switzerland.

ABSTRACT
Atypical sensory functioning in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has been well documented in the last decade for the visual, tactile and auditory systems, but olfaction in ASD is still understudied. The aim of the present study was to examine whether children with ASD and neuro-typically (NT) developed children differed in odor perception, at the cognitive (familiarity and identification ability), sensorimotor (olfactory exploration) and affective levels (hedonic evaluation). Because an important function of the sense of smell is its involvement in eating, from food selection to appreciation and recognition, a potential link between odor perception and food neophobia was also investigated. To these ends, 10 children between 6 and 13 years old diagnosed with ASD and 10 NT control children were tested. To compare performance, 16 stimuli were used and food neophobia was assessed by the parents on a short food neophobia scale. Results revealed that (i) significant hedonic discrimination between attractive and aversive odors was observed in NT (p = 0.005; d = 2.378) and ASD children (p = 0.042; d = 0.941), and (ii) hedonic discrimination level was negatively correlated with food neophobia scores in ASD (p = 0.007) but not NT children. In conclusion, this study offers new insights into odor perception in ASD children, highlighting a relationship between odor hedonic reactivity and eating behavior. This opens up new perspectives on both (i) the role of olfaction in the construction of eating behavior in ASD children, and (ii) the measurement and meaning of food neophobia in this population.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus