Olfactory performance comparison of early-blind, late-blind and sighted individuals

  • Allmänna seminarieserien
  • Published 2015


Presentation/ abstract Existing studies on the olfactory sensitivity of the blind report contradictory findings on olfactory performance of the blind people, and it remains unclear whether the visual impairment is associated with increased olfactory abilities. In the presented study I aimed to resolve the existing doubts by means of a largerscale, matched-samples study involving three groups of participants: the sighted (N=51), the early-blind (N=41) and the late-blind (N=43). In order to compare the results with previous outcomes, the study combined free identification, extensive psychophysical testing (Sniffin’ Sticks Test), and self-assessed olfactory performance. The analyses revealed no significant effects of sight on olfactory threshold, discrimination, or free identification scores, and marginally significant effect of sight on total identification score. Although both the early-blind and the late-blind participants assessed themselves as having better sense of smell than the sighted, it seems that the sensory compensation in the visually impaired is not that pronounced in the area of olfactory perception.

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{seminarieserien2015OlfactoryPC, title={Olfactory performance comparison of early-blind, late-blind and sighted individuals}, author={Allm{\"a}nna seminarieserien}, year={2015} }