Can focused mindfulness training increase olfactory perception? A novel method and approach for quantifying olfactory perception

Mehmet K. Mahmut*, Joy Fitzek, Katrin Bittrich, Anna Oleszkiewicz, Thomas Hummel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The aim of the study was to examine whether mindfulness-based training will increase the perception of odors and odor identification ability using a novel approach to quantifying olfactory perception. Eighteen participants were assigned to an experiment group and completed 5 min of focused mindfulness-based training, twice-per day for 2 days, while 18 control participants listened to a scientific podcast. The results revealed no significant differences between the experiment and control groups in terms of the number of odors counted over 2 days or odor identification ability at the end of the study. However, compared to controls, participants in the experiment group indicated via self-report that they noticed odors more often after mindfulness training. This finding was only true for a subset of participants and given this is the first study of its kind; replication is required to determine whether mindfulness-based training, possibly over a longer period of time, may increase olfactory perception. Practical Applications: Given odorant perceptions can change after repeated exposure and recalling the number of odorants experienced in a day is difficult, using a finger counter is a novel and effective methodological approach to track and assess daily odorant exposure in experiment and consumer research.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12631
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Sensory Studies
Volume36
Issue number2
Early online date7 Dec 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2020. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

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