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Sensitivity of Physiological Emotional Measures to Odors Depends on the Product and the Pleasantness Ranges Used.

Pichon AM, Coppin G, Cayeux I, Porcherot C, Sander D, Delplanque S - Front Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: As this differentiation has been observed for contrasted odors (very pleasant or unpleasant), we questioned whether subjective and physiological emotional response indicators could still disentangle subtle affective variations when no clear functional distinction is made (mildly pleasant or unpleasant fragrances).Results show clear differences in physiological indicators to odors that display a wide range of reported pleasantness, but these differences almost entirely vanish when fragrances are used even though their subjective pleasantness still differed.Taken together, these results provide valuable information concerning the ability of classic verbal and psychophysiological measures to investigate subtle differences in emotional reactions to a restricted range of similar olfactory stimuli.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Swiss Center for Affective Sciences, University of Geneva Geneva, Switzerland.

ABSTRACT
Emotions are characterized by synchronized changes in several components of an organism. Among them, physiological variations provide energy support for the expression of approach/avoid action tendencies induced by relevant stimuli, while self-reported subjective pleasantness feelings integrate all other emotional components and are plastic. Consequently, emotional responses evoked by odors should be highly differentiated when they are linked to different functions of olfaction (e.g., avoiding environmental hazards). As this differentiation has been observed for contrasted odors (very pleasant or unpleasant), we questioned whether subjective and physiological emotional response indicators could still disentangle subtle affective variations when no clear functional distinction is made (mildly pleasant or unpleasant fragrances). Here, we compared the sensitivity of behavioral and physiological [respiration, skin conductance, facial electromyography (EMG), and heart rate] indicators in differentiating odor-elicited emotions in two situations: when a wide range of odor families was presented (e.g., fruity, animal), covering different functional meanings; or in response to a restricted range of products in one particular family (fragrances). Results show clear differences in physiological indicators to odors that display a wide range of reported pleasantness, but these differences almost entirely vanish when fragrances are used even though their subjective pleasantness still differed. Taken together, these results provide valuable information concerning the ability of classic verbal and psychophysiological measures to investigate subtle differences in emotional reactions to a restricted range of similar olfactory stimuli.

No MeSH data available.


Corrugator muscle activity. (A)Fragrance- and (C)Odor-related corrugator activities (EMG; % of baseline) for the intra-individually determined pleasant and unpleasant odors. (B)Fragrance- and (D)Odor-related corrugator activity changes (EMG; % of baseline) as a function of time (ms) and hedonicity for all stimuli. Vertical bars denote standard errors to the mean. Significance levels for pleasantness effect: n.s.: not significant, p > 0.05; ∗p ≤ 0.05; ∗∗p ≤ 0.01; ∗∗∗p ≤ 0.001.
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Figure 3: Corrugator muscle activity. (A)Fragrance- and (C)Odor-related corrugator activities (EMG; % of baseline) for the intra-individually determined pleasant and unpleasant odors. (B)Fragrance- and (D)Odor-related corrugator activity changes (EMG; % of baseline) as a function of time (ms) and hedonicity for all stimuli. Vertical bars denote standard errors to the mean. Significance levels for pleasantness effect: n.s.: not significant, p > 0.05; ∗p ≤ 0.05; ∗∗p ≤ 0.01; ∗∗∗p ≤ 0.001.

Mentions: These analyses revealed a Time × Pleasantness interaction in Odor-induced corrugator activity [F(4,64) = 2.67, p = 0.040, η2 = 0.14], with an increase in the percentage of muscular activity in response to unpleasant Odors as compared with pleasant Odors in all time windows except the first one (PHC ps ≤ 0.004; Figure 3A). For better visualization of the effect, the continuous evolution of corrugator activity was plotted both as a function of time and of hedonicity scores. The resulting 3D plot showed a combined slope increasing across time toward lower hedonic values of Odors (Figure 3B). Fragrance-induced corrugator activity increased both as a function of unpleasantness [F(1,17) = 5.19, p = 0.036, η2 = 0.23] and of time [F(4,68) = 9.83, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.36; Figure 3C], although this increase was relatively small compared with that induced by Odors (Figure 3D).


Sensitivity of Physiological Emotional Measures to Odors Depends on the Product and the Pleasantness Ranges Used.

Pichon AM, Coppin G, Cayeux I, Porcherot C, Sander D, Delplanque S - Front Psychol (2015)

Corrugator muscle activity. (A)Fragrance- and (C)Odor-related corrugator activities (EMG; % of baseline) for the intra-individually determined pleasant and unpleasant odors. (B)Fragrance- and (D)Odor-related corrugator activity changes (EMG; % of baseline) as a function of time (ms) and hedonicity for all stimuli. Vertical bars denote standard errors to the mean. Significance levels for pleasantness effect: n.s.: not significant, p > 0.05; ∗p ≤ 0.05; ∗∗p ≤ 0.01; ∗∗∗p ≤ 0.001.
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Related In: Results  -  Collection

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Figure 3: Corrugator muscle activity. (A)Fragrance- and (C)Odor-related corrugator activities (EMG; % of baseline) for the intra-individually determined pleasant and unpleasant odors. (B)Fragrance- and (D)Odor-related corrugator activity changes (EMG; % of baseline) as a function of time (ms) and hedonicity for all stimuli. Vertical bars denote standard errors to the mean. Significance levels for pleasantness effect: n.s.: not significant, p > 0.05; ∗p ≤ 0.05; ∗∗p ≤ 0.01; ∗∗∗p ≤ 0.001.
Mentions: These analyses revealed a Time × Pleasantness interaction in Odor-induced corrugator activity [F(4,64) = 2.67, p = 0.040, η2 = 0.14], with an increase in the percentage of muscular activity in response to unpleasant Odors as compared with pleasant Odors in all time windows except the first one (PHC ps ≤ 0.004; Figure 3A). For better visualization of the effect, the continuous evolution of corrugator activity was plotted both as a function of time and of hedonicity scores. The resulting 3D plot showed a combined slope increasing across time toward lower hedonic values of Odors (Figure 3B). Fragrance-induced corrugator activity increased both as a function of unpleasantness [F(1,17) = 5.19, p = 0.036, η2 = 0.23] and of time [F(4,68) = 9.83, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.36; Figure 3C], although this increase was relatively small compared with that induced by Odors (Figure 3D).

Bottom Line: As this differentiation has been observed for contrasted odors (very pleasant or unpleasant), we questioned whether subjective and physiological emotional response indicators could still disentangle subtle affective variations when no clear functional distinction is made (mildly pleasant or unpleasant fragrances).Results show clear differences in physiological indicators to odors that display a wide range of reported pleasantness, but these differences almost entirely vanish when fragrances are used even though their subjective pleasantness still differed.Taken together, these results provide valuable information concerning the ability of classic verbal and psychophysiological measures to investigate subtle differences in emotional reactions to a restricted range of similar olfactory stimuli.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Swiss Center for Affective Sciences, University of Geneva Geneva, Switzerland.

ABSTRACT
Emotions are characterized by synchronized changes in several components of an organism. Among them, physiological variations provide energy support for the expression of approach/avoid action tendencies induced by relevant stimuli, while self-reported subjective pleasantness feelings integrate all other emotional components and are plastic. Consequently, emotional responses evoked by odors should be highly differentiated when they are linked to different functions of olfaction (e.g., avoiding environmental hazards). As this differentiation has been observed for contrasted odors (very pleasant or unpleasant), we questioned whether subjective and physiological emotional response indicators could still disentangle subtle affective variations when no clear functional distinction is made (mildly pleasant or unpleasant fragrances). Here, we compared the sensitivity of behavioral and physiological [respiration, skin conductance, facial electromyography (EMG), and heart rate] indicators in differentiating odor-elicited emotions in two situations: when a wide range of odor families was presented (e.g., fruity, animal), covering different functional meanings; or in response to a restricted range of products in one particular family (fragrances). Results show clear differences in physiological indicators to odors that display a wide range of reported pleasantness, but these differences almost entirely vanish when fragrances are used even though their subjective pleasantness still differed. Taken together, these results provide valuable information concerning the ability of classic verbal and psychophysiological measures to investigate subtle differences in emotional reactions to a restricted range of similar olfactory stimuli.

No MeSH data available.