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Atten Percept Psychophys ; 72(3): 806-12, 2010 Apr.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-20348584


The aim of the present study was to determine the magnitude of the difference in concentration between olfactory detection and recognition thresholds of aliphatic aldehydes. To this end, we first determined olfactory detection thresholds for n-butanal, n-pentanal, n-hexanal, n-heptanal, and n-octanal in a group of 16 subjects and then assessed their ability to discriminate between all possible binary pairs of the same odorants presented at different concentrations above their individual detection thresholds. We found that the gap between detection and recognition of aliphatic aldehydes is odorant pair dependent and, at the group level, spans at least a factor of 100. However, single subjects successfully discriminated between certain aldehyde pairs presented at a factor as low as 3 above detection threshold. Our approach to determining olfactory recognition thresholds, using a performance-based measure rather than verbal labeling, not only avoids the problem of semantic ambiguity and arguable criteria, but also is applicable to nonhuman species, allowing for interspecific comparisons of recognition thresholds and of the gap between detection and recognition of odorants. The raw discrimination data from this study are available as a supplement from

Ácidos Aldeídicos , Ácidos Graxos , Reconhecimento Psicológico , Detecção de Sinal Psicológico , Olfato/fisiologia , Adulto , Feminino , Humanos , Masculino , Adulto Jovem
Dev Psychobiol ; 49(7): 692-701, 2007 Nov.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-17943979


Tobacco smoke exposure affects the activity of both the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). Statistics reveal 41 million children in the U.S. are regularly exposed to tobacco smoke, but we know little about the effects of environmental tobacco smoke exposure on HPA and SNS activity in early childhood. This study assayed cotinine (a metabolite of nicotine), cortisol, and alpha-amylase (sAA) in the saliva of mother-infant dyads from 197 low income and ethnically diverse families. The dyads were identified as tobacco smoke exposed (N = 82) or nonexposed (N = 115) based on maternal self-reports of smoking and salivary cotinine levels greater or less than 10 ng/ml. As expected, higher rates of maternal smoking behavior were associated with higher levels of cotinine in mothers' and their infants' saliva. On average, smoking mothers' salivary cotinine levels were 281 times higher compared to their nonsmoking counterparts, and 23 times higher compared to their own infant's salivary cotinine levels. Infants of smoking mothers had salivary cotinine levels that were four times higher than infants with nonsmoking mothers. Mothers who smoked had higher salivary cortisol levels and lower sAA activity compared to nonsmoking mothers. There were no associations between maternal smoking behavior, infant's salivary cotinine levels, or tobacco exposure group, and cortisol or sAA measured in infant's saliva. The findings are discussed in relation to the influence of smoking tobacco on the validity of salivary biomarkers of stress.

Hidrocortisona/sangue , Individualidade , Poluição por Fumaça de Tabaco/efeitos adversos , alfa-Amilases/sangue , Ácidos Aldeídicos/sangue , Adolescente , Adulto , Nível de Alerta/efeitos dos fármacos , Nível de Alerta/fisiologia , Sistema Nervoso Autônomo/efeitos dos fármacos , Sistema Nervoso Autônomo/fisiopatologia , Feminino , Humanos , Sistema Hipotálamo-Hipofisário/efeitos dos fármacos , Sistema Hipotálamo-Hipofisário/fisiopatologia , Lactente , Masculino , Mães/psicologia , Nicotina/toxicidade , Sistema Hipófise-Suprarrenal/efeitos dos fármacos , Sistema Hipófise-Suprarrenal/fisiopatologia , Estudos Prospectivos , Psicopatologia , Carência Psicossocial , Fatores de Risco , Saliva/enzimologia , Meio Social , Fatores Socioeconômicos , Sistema Nervoso Simpático/efeitos dos fármacos , Sistema Nervoso Simpático/fisiopatologia , Temperamento