The capacity of humans to identify odors in mixtures

@article{Laing1989TheCO,
  title={The capacity of humans to identify odors in mixtures},
  author={David G Laing and G. W. Francis},
  journal={Physiology \& Behavior},
  year={1989},
  volume={46},
  pages={809-814}
}
The capacity of humans to identify components in complex odor-taste mixtures.
TLDR
In general, tastes were more easily identified than smells and were the only stimuli identified in the five- to six-component mixtures.
Can the Identification of Odorants Within a Mixture Be Trained?
TLDR
The idea that the number of odors the authors can recognize within a mixture is limited but training can improve the performance is supported but suggests expertise refines identification ability of mixtures of up to 4 odorants.
The influence of chemical complexity on the perception of multicomponent odor mixtures
TLDR
The identification of a limited number of object odors in every mixture that was presented suggests that both associative (synthetic) and dissociative (analytic) processes are involved in the perceptual analysis of odor mixtures.
A Limit in the Processing of Components in Odour Mixtures
TLDR
It is proposed that the profound loss of information was primarily due to inhibition of olfactory receptor cells by the odorants through competitive mechanisms, and the subsequent loss of odour identity through changes in the spatial code that may be used to identify odorants.
Characteristics of the Human Sense of Smell when Processing Odor Mixtures
TLDR
All of these frequently encountered odors, however, have one feature in common, they are complex mixtures of odorants.
Influence of training and experience on the perception of multicomponent odor mixtures.
TLDR
The results indicated that for both panels only 3 or 4 components of a complex mixture could be discriminated and identified and that this capacity could not be increased by training, and the limit may be imposed physiologically or by processing constraints.
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References

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Early‐Stage Processing of Odor Mixtures
TLDR
Metabolic activity was suppressed in reliably identifiable patches of glomeruli in the rat main olfactory bulb, when the animals were exposed to a two-component mixture at concentrations at which human subjects had perceived masking of one of the components.
Profiling of odor components and their mixtures.
Abstract Observers evaluated five odors and their 26 mixtures (two, three, four, and five components) by magnitude estimation. Estimates revealed that in mixtures there is moderate suppression of
Olfaction and the "data" memory system in rats.
TLDR
Experiments in which either member of the pair was compared with a novel cue indicated that the rats learn both positive and negative odors, rather than simply ignoring the negative cue, suggesting that the capacity of the memory system for odors is substantial.
An investigation of the equiratio-mixture model in olfactory psychophysics: A case study
TLDR
The psychophysical function of one olfactory equiratio-mixture type was examined in relation to the functions of its constituents, α-terpineol and 1-decanol and the difference between the predicted and the experimentally obtained functions was probably caused by suppression at a central level.
SCOPE AND EVALUATION OF ODOR COUNTERACTION AND MASKING *
  • W. Cain, M. Drexler
  • Environmental Science
    Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
  • 1974
TLDR
The control of malodors in buildings and in the outside atmosphere has become an important aspect of maintaining an acceptable environment and results may be unsatisfactory, since the threshold concentration is extremely low for many odorants.
Functional organization of rat olfactory bulb analysed by the 2‐deoxyglucose method
The spatial patterns of activity elicited in the rat olfactory bulb under different odor conditions have been analysed using the 2‐deoxyglucose (2DG) technique. Rats were injected with 14C‐2DG,
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