Functional anatomy of human odor sensation, discrimination, and identification in health and aging

David A. Kareken, Diane M. Mosnik, Richard L. Doty, Mario Dzemidzic, Gary D. Hutchins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

84 Scopus citations

Abstract

Aging of cerebral olfactory regions was studied in 5 younger and 6 older healthy adults, matched by odor discrimination and identification scores, with positron emission tomography during odor sensory stimulation, discrimination, and identification tasks. Sensory stimulation engaged bilateral piriform and orbitofrontal regions, but neither discrimination nor identification evoked added temporal or orbital activity. Discrimination involved the hippocampus, implicating its role in serial odor comparisons (olfactory working memory). Left inferior frontal activity during identification may reflect semantic associations. Older participants deactivated the left gyrus rectus/medial orbital gyrus (GR/MOG) during sensory stimulation but activated GR/MOG during discrimination and identification. Adjusting for detection threshold eliminated GR/MOG group differences during sensory stimulation. Diminished threshold may lead to reduced engagement of olfactory association areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)482-495
Number of pages14
JournalNeuropsychology
Volume17
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

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