graduate student, Johns Hopkins University
We have subjects smell a bunch of odors and name them or try to sort them into categories. We will then use the similarity of various odors according to these measures to compare to computer databases and human brain activity.
Abstract: The smell of a cup of coffee is produced by many different odor chemicals combined in a mixture, yet the perception of that odor is of a single unified whole. Recent evidence has demonstrated that mixtures of odors share some of the same spatiotemporal features of speech sounds and may use similar brain resources in associating those features with the symbols they represent. This experiment investigated the hypothesis that an odor mixture would interfere with a math task that requires symbolic but not spatial processing. Results indicated the pattern of brain electrical activity was similar for the single odors and the mixture during spatial processing. During solution of the task requiring symbolic processing, the odor mixture produced a pattern of brain electrical activity different from the single odorants. These data suggest that the perception of odor mixtures may use some of the same resources associated with symbolic processing.
Pub.: 05 Apr '05, Pinned: 30 Aug '17
Abstract: Eighty-two adults, ranging in age from young to elderly, performed odor-quality discrimination and both free and cued identification on six odorants presented at two intensity levels. The odorants simulated the real-world substances banana, licorice, cherry/almond, wintergreen, clove, and lemon. Performance on all three tasks declined with age, but improved with stimulus intensity. Performance at discrimination benefited from the mere availability of the six names during testing. Performance in cued identification far exceeded that in free identification and, for young and middle-aged adults, fell close to that for discrimination. For elderly adults, however, performance in cued identification fell substantially below that in discrimination. Although not entirely free of cognitive influences, discrimination seems to offer particularly clear resolution of alterations in olfactory functioning.
Pub.: 01 Jan '94, Pinned: 30 Aug '17
Abstract: Visual perception and awareness have strict limitations. We suggest that one source of these limitations is the representational architecture of the visual system. Under this view, the extent to which items activate the same neural channels constrains the amount of information that can be processed by the visual system and ultimately reach awareness. Here, we measured how well stimuli from different categories (e.g., faces and cars) blocked one another from reaching awareness using two distinct paradigms that render stimuli invisible: visual masking and continuous flash suppression. Next, we used fMRI to measure the similarity of the neural responses elicited by these categories across the entire visual hierarchy. Overall, we found strong brain-behavior correlations within the ventral pathway, weaker correlations in the dorsal pathway, and no correlations in early visual cortex (V1-V3). These results suggest that the organization of higher level visual cortex constrains visual awareness and the overall processing capacity of visual cognition.
Pub.: 01 Aug '15, Pinned: 30 Aug '17
Abstract: The pairwise dissimilarities of a set of items can be intuitively visualized by a 2D arrangement of the items, in which the distances reflect the dissimilarities. Such an arrangement can be obtained by multidimensional scaling (MDS). We propose a method for the inverse process: inferring the pairwise dissimilarities from multiple 2D arrangements of items. Perceptual dissimilarities are classically measured using pairwise dissimilarity judgments. However, alternative methods including free sorting and 2D arrangements have previously been proposed. The present proposal is novel (a) in that the dissimilarity matrix is estimated by "inverse MDS" based on multiple arrangements of item subsets, and (b) in that the subsets are designed by an adaptive algorithm that aims to provide optimal evidence for the dissimilarity estimates. The subject arranges the items (represented as icons on a computer screen) by means of mouse drag-and-drop operations. The multi-arrangement method can be construed as a generalization of simpler methods: It reduces to pairwise dissimilarity judgments if each arrangement contains only two items, and to free sorting if the items are categorically arranged into discrete piles. Multi-arrangement combines the advantages of these methods. It is efficient (because the subject communicates many dissimilarity judgments with each mouse drag), psychologically attractive (because dissimilarities are judged in context), and can characterize continuous high-dimensional dissimilarity structures. We present two procedures for estimating the dissimilarity matrix: a simple weighted-aligned-average of the partial dissimilarity matrices and a computationally intensive algorithm, which estimates the dissimilarity matrix by iteratively minimizing the error of MDS-predictions of the subject's arrangements. The Matlab code for interactive arrangement and dissimilarity estimation is available from the authors upon request.
Pub.: 01 Aug '12, Pinned: 30 Aug '17