The pleasantness of a food odour decreases when that food is eaten to satiety or even smelled for a brief period (Olfactory Specific Satiety, OSS), which suggests that odours signal food variety and encourage approach behaviour toward novel foods. In the study here, we aimed to extend this theory to understand the consequence of manipulating the food consumed and its degree of association to the evaluated odour. We also wished to clarify if these effects related to individual sensitivity to the target odour. In the study here, participants (n = 94) rated the pleasantness of a food odour (isoamyl acetate) and then consumed confectionary that had either Low or High association to that odour or a No food control. This was followed by final pleasantness ratings for the odour and a threshold sensitivity test. Results revealed that in line with OSS, pleasantness decreased in the High association group only. This effect was not dependent on any differences in sensitivity to the target odour. These findings are consistent with OSS, and that this effect likely depends on activation of brain areas related to odour hedonics rather than the degree to which the odour is detected.
- Sensory Specific Satiety