Impairments in the Perception of Odor-Induced Tastes and Their Relationship to Impairments in Taste Perception

Richard J. Stevenson*, Laurie A. Miller, Zoe C. Thayer

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    28 Citations (Scopus)


    Certain odors have tastelike qualities when sniffed. To the extent that these qualities are akin to real taste experiences, impairment in perception of odor-induced tastes should be accompanied by taste impairment, and vice versa. Twelve patients were selected with possible odor-induced taste impairments or general taste impairments via a screening test, along with a further 6 patients with a probable taste impairment (insular lesion). These 18 patients, along with 19 normal controls, completed a battery of odor, taste, visual control, and neuropsychological tests to assess impairments in odor-induced taste perception and general taste perception. Four patients had an odor-induced taste impairment and were also impaired on taste perception. A further analysis, using regression on the whole sample, indicated that taste impairments were associated with odor-induced taste abnormalities independent of other predictors. This pattern also held for the patient group alone. The insular patients also exhibited both taste and odor-induced taste impairments. This study is the first to demonstrate a relationship between impaired taste perception and the perception of odor-induced tastes and suggests that both may rely on certain common neural substrates.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1183-1197
    Number of pages15
    JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008


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