Trigeminal and olfactory sensitivity: comparison of modalities and methods of measurement

  title={Trigeminal and olfactory sensitivity: comparison of modalities and methods of measurement},
  author={J. Enrique Cometto-mu{\~n}iz and William S. Cain},
  journal={International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health},
  • J. Cometto-muñiz, W. Cain
  • Published 9 March 1998
  • Psychology
  • International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
AbstractObjective: The principal objective was to chart sensitivity for human nasal irritation by alternative psychophysical methods, namely, a common detection procedure versus a nasal lateralization procedure that required the subject to indicate whether a vapor had stimulated the left or right nostril. This objective relates to the broader issues as to (a) whether subjects with normal olfaction (normosmics) can yield, through novel methodology, an index of sensitivity to nasal irritation… 
Determinants for nasal trigeminal detection of volatile organic compounds.
It is concluded that, except for octane and perhaps vanillin, the failure of the other four VOCs to precipitate nasal chemesthesis rests on a chemical-structural limitation, for example, the molecules lack a key property to fit a receptor pocket, rather than on a concentration limitation, as the vapor concentration is too low to reach a threshold value.
Human Trigeminal and Olfactory Chemosensitivity: Detection of Single Chemicals and Binary Mixtures
Additional indices of trigeminal sensitivity such as eye irritation and nasal localization (or lateralization), that can be measured in normosmics devoid of olfactory influence, have rendered a similar picture of absolute and relative chemesthetic potency of VOCs to that rendered by testing nasal pungency in anosmic, validating this approach.
Psychometric functions for the olfactory and trigeminal detectability of butyl acetate and toluene
Psychometric (i.e. concentration–response) functions for the detection of odor, nasal pungency and eye irritation from butyl acetate and toluene suggest that detectability functions provide chemosensory thresholds of closer relevance to environmentally realistic conditions.
Measurement of Nasal Trigeminal Pungency Threshold: :: : Comparison between Normals and Patients with Decreased Sense of Smell*
The pungency thresholds of hyposmics and anosmics are higher than those of normals, which suggests that a loss or decrease of olfactory sensation is accompanied by a simultaneous decrease of trigeminal chemosensitivity.
Dose-Response Functions for the Olfactory, Nasal Trigeminal, and Ocular Trigeminal Detectability of Airborne Chemicals by Humans.
A quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) using 5 chemical descriptors, also holds promise to describe, and eventually predict, olfactory and chemesthetic detectability functions, albeit functions from additional compounds are needed to strengthen the QSAR.
Chemesthesis from volatile organic compounds: Psychophysical and neural responses
From chemosensory thresholds to whole body exposures—experimental approaches evaluating chemosensory effects of chemicals
Psychophysical approaches that provide information for the evaluation of adverse chemosensory effects at workplaces where volatile chemicals are used are described and a diverse class of chemicals can be described and compared with respect to their chemOSensory potency.


Relative sensitivity of the ocular trigeminal, nasal trigeminal and olfactory systems to airborne chemicals.
Eye irritation thresholds were remarkably close to nasal pungency thresholds obtained previously in persons lacking olfaction, implying that the eyes could serve as the sites to assess potency for induction of nasal pwnency, an assessment previously limited to testing anosmics.
Sensory Irritation Potency of VOCs Measured Through Nasal Localization Thresholds
Author(s): Cain, William S; Cometto-Muniz, J. Enrique | Abstract: In order to measure "odor unbiased" nasal pungency (e.g., sensory irritation) thresholds, we have resorted in the past to testing
Sensory reactions of nasal pungency and odor to volatile organic compounds: the alkylbenzenes.
The strong linear correlation between pungency thresholds and saturated vapor concentration for all tested compounds, as a whole, and the constancy of pwnency thresholds expressed as percent of vapor saturation, suggests that nasal pungencies from these substances relies heavily on a broadly tuned physicochemical interaction with a susceptible biophase within the cell membrane.
Perception of Odor and Nasal Pungency from Homologous Series of Volatile Organic Compounds
Pungency thresholds — but not odor thresholds — showed a uniform linear relationship of slope close to unity with saturated vapor concentration, irrespective of chemical functionality or carbon chain length, which suggests that pungency from nonreactive airborne chemicals rests heavily on a relatively unspecific physical interaction with a susceptible biophase.
Dependency of olfactory localization on non-olfactory cues
Thresholds for odor and nasal pungency
Nasal pungency, odor, and eye irritation thresholds for homologous acetates
Nasal pungency and odor of homologous aldehydes and carboxylic acids
Odor and nasal pungency thresholds for homologous aliphatic aldehydes and carboxylic acids and acetic acid are measured, suggesting a biological cut-off, presumably based upon molecular size, across the various series.
Testing olfaction in a clinical setting.
  • W. Cain
  • Medicine, Psychology
    Ear, nose, & throat journal
  • 1989
Assessment of olfactory functioning at the CCCRC entails a threshold test and an odor identification test that contains eight everyday items that can determine cause and assess degree of improvement with treatment, such as sinus operation.
Exposure of humans to a volatile organic mixture. II. Sensory.
Results indicate that irritation intensity and other symptoms are not related in any simple way to odor intensity, which suggests that the symptoms may not be a psychosomatic response to the detection of an aversive odor, and subthreshold levels of VOCs may interact additively or hyperadditively and stimulate trigeminal nerve receptors.