SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 15.1: Belluscio, L., & Cummings, D. M. (2008). Charting plasticity in the regenerating maps of the mammalian olfactory bulb. Neuroscientist, 14(3), 251-263. doi:10.1177/1073858408315026

Abstract: The anatomical organization of a neural system can offer a glimpse into its functional logic. The basic premise is that by understanding how something is put together one can figure out how it works. Unfortunately, organization is not always represented purely at an anatomical level and is sometimes best revealed through molecular or functional studies. The mammalian olfactory system exhibits organizational features at all these levels including (1) anatomically distinct structural layers in the olfactory bulb, (2) molecular maps based upon odorant receptor expression, and (3) functional local circuits giving rise to odor columns that provide a contextual logic for an intrabulbar map. In addition, various forms of cellular plasticity have been shown to play an integral role in shaping the structural properties of most neural systems and must be considered when assessing each system's anatomical organization. Interestingly, the olfactory system invokes an added level of complexity for understanding organization in that it regenerates both at the peripheral and the central levels. Thus, olfaction offers a rare opportunity to study both the structural and the functional properties of a regenerating sensory system in direct response to environmental stimuli. In this review, we discuss neural organization in the form of maps and explore the relationship between regeneration and plasticity.

Journal Article 15.2: Manescu, S., Daniel, B., Filiou, R.-P, Lepore, F., & Frasnelli, J. (2017). Nostril advantage in trigeminal/olfactory perception and its relation to handedness. Perception, 46(3-4), 377-392.

Abstract: Few studies investigated nostril-advantage in chemosensory perception, particularly, in relation to handedness. The aim of the present article was therefore to assess whether trigeminal/olfactory perception is altered by handedness.

Journal Article 15.3: Pazzaglia, M. (2015). Body and odors: Not just molecules, after all. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 24(4), 329-333.

Abstract: Interpersonal interactions are primarily mediated through vision. However, crucial information concerning other individuals is also captured through different senses. New evidence suggests that body odors can implicitly initiate, filter, and guide the integrated perceptions that characterize real human impressions. Human body-odor processing helps rapidly differentiate kin from friends and friends from foes, as well as identify potential threats or increase alertness to the proximity of strangers, thereby guiding social preference. Body odors, which are potent sources of discriminative, affective, and motor knowledge, elicit neural activity partly or exclusively outside the primary olfactory cortices in the brain areas responsible for the processing of social information, which are activated by equivalent visual signals. Body odors, which can act as an authenticator of truth and are reliably invoked to shape social relations, require us to revise our view of the traditional body-communication models.

Journal Article 15.4: Spector, A. C., & Travers, S. P. (2005). The representation of taste quality in the mammalian nervous system. Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience Reviews, 4(3), 143-191.

Abstract: The process by which the mammalian nervous system represents the features of a sapid stimulus that lead to a perception of taste quality has long been controversial. The labeled-line (sparse coding) view differs from the across-neuron pattern (ensemble) counterpoint in proposing that activity in a given class of neurons is necessary and sufficient to generate a specific taste perception. This article critically reviews molecular, electro-physiological, and behavioral findings that bear on the issue. In the peripheral gustatory system, the authors conclude that most qualities appear to be signaled by labeled lines; however, elements of both types of coding characterize signaling of sodium salts. Given the heterogeneity of neuronal tuning functions in the brain, the central coding mechanism is less clear. Both sparse coding and neuronal ensemble models remain viable possibilities. Furthermore, temporal patterns of discharge could contribute additional information. Ultimately, until specific classes of neurons can be selectively manipulated and perceptual consequences assessed, it will be difficult to go beyond mere correlation and conclusively discern the validity of these coding models.

Journal Article 15.5: van der Wal, R. C., & van Dillen, L. F. (2013). Leaving a flat taste in your mouth: Task load reduces taste perception. Psychological Science, 24(7), 1277-1284.

Abstract: In recent years, people have tended to pay less attention to their meals, often consuming them while engaging in other activities. At the same time, foods have become increasingly sweet and salty. We therefore investigated how performing concurrent activities affects taste perception and how this relates to actual consumption. Participants tasted sour, sweet, and salty substances in various concentrations under differing task loads. Our results demonstrated that under high task load (relative to low task load), participants rated the substances as less intense, consumed more of the substances, and preferred stronger tastants. Our findings suggest that increased task load reduces people’s taste perception by limiting attentional capacity to assess taste intensity and that people adjust their consumption accordingly.