Publications by authors named "Ilja Croijmans"

11 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Crossmodal Associations with Olfactory, Auditory, and Tactile Stimuli in Children and Adults.

Iperception 2021 Nov 6;12(6):20416695211048513. Epub 2021 Dec 6.

Department of Psychology, University of York, York, UK.

People associate information with different senses but the mechanism by which this happens is unclear. Such associations are thought to arise from innate structural associations in the brain, statistical associations in the environment, via shared affective content, or through language. A developmental perspective on crossmodal associations can help determine which explanations are more likely for specific associations. Certain associations with pitch (e.g., pitch-height) have been observed early in infancy, but others may only occur late into childhood (e.g., pitch-size). In contrast, tactile-chroma associations have been observed in children, but not adults. One modality that has received little attention developmentally is olfaction. In the present investigation, we explored crossmodal associations from sound, tactile stimuli, and odor to a range of stimuli by testing a broad range of participants. Across the three modalities, we found little evidence for crossmodal associations in young children. This suggests an account based on innate structures is unlikely. Instead, the number and strength of associations increased over the lifespan. This suggests that experience plays a crucial role in crossmodal associations from sound, touch, and smell to other senses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/20416695211048513DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8652194PMC
November 2021

The role of fragrance and self-esteem in perception of body odors and impressions of others.

PLoS One 2021 15;16(11):e0258773. Epub 2021 Nov 15.

Department of Psychology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Human sweat odor serves as social communication signal for a person's traits and emotional states. This study explored whether body odors can also communicate information about one's self-esteem, and the role of applied fragrance in this relationship. Female participants were asked to rate self-esteem and attractiveness of different male contestants of a dating show, while being exposed to male participant's body odors differing in self-esteem. High self-esteem sweat was rated more pleasant and less intense than low self-esteem sweat. However, there was no difference in perceived self-esteem and attractiveness of male contestants in videos, hence explicit differences in body odor did not transfer to judgments of related person characteristics. When the body odor was fragranced using a fragranced body spray, male contestants were rated as having higher self-esteem and being more attractive. The finding that body odors from male participants differing in self-esteem are rated differently and can be discriminated suggests self-esteem has distinct perceivable olfactory features, but the remaining findings imply that only fragrance affect the psychological impression someone makes. These findings are discussed in the context of the role of body odor and fragrance in human perception and social communication.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0258773PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8592444PMC
December 2021

Recent Smell Loss Is the Best Predictor of COVID-19 Among Individuals With Recent Respiratory Symptoms.

Chem Senses 2021 01;46

Clinical Surgery, Universidade Estadual de Londrina, Londrina, Brazil.

In a preregistered, cross-sectional study, we investigated whether olfactory loss is a reliable predictor of COVID-19 using a crowdsourced questionnaire in 23 languages to assess symptoms in individuals self-reporting recent respiratory illness. We quantified changes in chemosensory abilities during the course of the respiratory illness using 0-100 visual analog scales (VAS) for participants reporting a positive (C19+; n = 4148) or negative (C19-; n = 546) COVID-19 laboratory test outcome. Logistic regression models identified univariate and multivariate predictors of COVID-19 status and post-COVID-19 olfactory recovery. Both C19+ and C19- groups exhibited smell loss, but it was significantly larger in C19+ participants (mean ± SD, C19+: -82.5 ± 27.2 points; C19-: -59.8 ± 37.7). Smell loss during illness was the best predictor of COVID-19 in both univariate and multivariate models (ROC AUC = 0.72). Additional variables provide negligible model improvement. VAS ratings of smell loss were more predictive than binary chemosensory yes/no-questions or other cardinal symptoms (e.g., fever). Olfactory recovery within 40 days of respiratory symptom onset was reported for ~50% of participants and was best predicted by time since respiratory symptom onset. We find that quantified smell loss is the best predictor of COVID-19 amongst those with symptoms of respiratory illness. To aid clinicians and contact tracers in identifying individuals with a high likelihood of having COVID-19, we propose a novel 0-10 scale to screen for recent olfactory loss, the ODoR-19. We find that numeric ratings ≤2 indicate high odds of symptomatic COVID-19 (4 < OR < 10). Once independently validated, this tool could be deployed when viral lab tests are impractical or unavailable.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/chemse/bjaa081DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7799216PMC
January 2021

More Data, Please: Machine Learning to Advance the Multidisciplinary Science of Human Sociochemistry.

Front Psychol 2020 22;11:581701. Epub 2020 Oct 22.

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands.

Communication constitutes the core of human life. A large portion of our everyday social interactions is non-verbal. Of the sensory modalities we use for non-verbal communication, olfaction (i.e., the sense of smell) is often considered the most enigmatic medium. Outside of our awareness, smells provide information about our identity, emotions, gender, mate compatibility, illness, and potentially more. Yet, body odors are astonishingly complex, with their composition being influenced by various factors. Is there a chemical basis of olfactory communication? Can we identify molecules predictive of psychological states and traits? We propose that answering these questions requires integrating two disciplines: psychology and chemistry. This new field, coined , faces new challenges emerging from the sheer amount of factors causing variability in of body odorants on the one hand (e.g., diet, hygiene, skin bacteria, hormones, genes), and variability in states and traits on the other (e.g., genes, culture, hormones, internal state, context). In past research, the reality of these high-dimensional data has been reduced in an attempt to isolate unidimensional factors in small, homogenous samples under tightly controlled settings. Here, we propose big data approaches to establish novel links between chemical and psychological data on a large scale from heterogeneous samples in ecologically valid settings. This approach would increase our grip on the way chemical signals non-verbally and subconsciously affect our social lives across contexts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.581701DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7642605PMC
October 2020

Wine experts' recognition of wine odors is not verbally mediated.

J Exp Psychol Gen 2021 Mar 1;150(3):545-559. Epub 2020 Oct 1.

Department of Psychology, University of York.

Experts have better memory for items within their domain of expertise. Critically, this does not depend on more efficient use of language. However, this conclusion is based mainly on findings from experts in visual and auditory domains. Olfactory experts constitute an interesting potential counterexample since language has been implicated to be critically involved in odor memory in previous studies. We examined the role language plays in odor recognition memory for wine experts, who typically display better wine odor memory than novices and who are also able to name odors better than lay people. This suggests wine experts' superior recognition memory for odors may be verbally mediated. In 2 experiments, recognition memory for wine odors, wine-related odors, and common odors was tested in wine experts and novices. The use of language was manipulated in Experiment 1 with an overt naming versus no-naming condition, and in Experiment 2, with a verbal interference task inhibiting covert verbalization. Across the two experiments the results showed wine experts have better recognition memory for wines, but not for wine-related or common odors, indicating their memory advantage is expertise specific. Critically, this effect was not verbally mediated, as there was no relationship between experts' ability to name wines and their memory for them. Likewise, directly inhibiting online use of verbalization did not affect memory for wine odors in experts. In sum, once expertise has been acquired, language does not play a causal role in recognition memory for odors. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xge0000949DOI Listing
March 2021

The best COVID-19 predictor is recent smell loss: a cross-sectional study.

medRxiv 2020 Jul 28. Epub 2020 Jul 28.

Background: COVID-19 has heterogeneous manifestations, though one of the most common symptoms is a sudden loss of smell (anosmia or hyposmia). We investigated whether olfactory loss is a reliable predictor of COVID-19.

Methods: This preregistered, cross-sectional study used a crowdsourced questionnaire in 23 languages to assess symptoms in individuals self-reporting recent respiratory illness. We quantified changes in chemosensory abilities during the course of the respiratory illness using 0-100 visual analog scales (VAS) for participants reporting a positive (C19+; n=4148) or negative (C19-; n=546) COVID-19 laboratory test outcome. Logistic regression models identified singular and cumulative predictors of COVID-19 status and post-COVID-19 olfactory recovery.

Results: Both C19+ and C19- groups exhibited smell loss, but it was significantly larger in C19+ participants (mean±SD, C19+: -82.5±27.2 points; C19-: -59.8±37.7). Smell loss during illness was the best predictor of COVID-19 in both single and cumulative feature models (ROC AUC=0.72), with additional features providing no significant model improvement. VAS ratings of smell loss were more predictive than binary chemosensory yes/no-questions or other cardinal symptoms, such as fever or cough. Olfactory recovery within 40 days was reported for ~50% of participants and was best predicted by time since illness onset.

Conclusions: As smell loss is the best predictor of COVID-19, we developed the ODoR-19 tool, a 0-10 scale to screen for recent olfactory loss. Numeric ratings ≤2 indicate high odds of symptomatic COVID-19 (10
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2020.07.22.20157263DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7386529PMC
July 2020

Expertise Shapes Multimodal Imagery for Wine.

Cogn Sci 2020 05;44(5):e12842

Department of Psychology, University of York.

Although taste and smell seem hard to imagine, some people nevertheless report vivid imagery in these sensory modalities. We investigate whether experts are better able to imagine smells and tastes because they have learned the ability, or whether they are better imaginers in the first place, and so become experts. To test this, we first compared a group of wine experts to yoked novices using a battery of questionnaires. We show for the first time that experts report greater vividness of wine imagery, with no difference in vividness across sensory modalities. In contrast, novices had more vivid color imagery than taste or odor imagery for wines. Experts and novices did not differ on other vividness of imagery measures, suggesting a domain-specific effect of expertise. Critically, in a second study, we followed a group of students commencing a wine course and a group of matched control participants. Students and controls did not differ before the course, but after the wine course students reported more vivid wine imagery. We provide evidence that expertise improves imagery, exemplifying the extent of plasticity of cognition underlying the chemical senses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cogs.12842DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7379309PMC
May 2020

High-Tempo and Stinky: High Arousal Sound-Odor Congruence Affects Product Memory.

Multisens Res 2019 01 1;32(4-5):347-366. Epub 2019 Jan 1.

2Department of Psychology, University of York, UK.

The tendency to match different sensory modalities together can be beneficial for marketing. Here we assessed the effect of sound-odor congruence on people's attitude and memory for products of a familiar and unfamiliar brand. Participants smelled high- and low-arousal odors and then saw an advertisement for a product of a familiar or unfamiliar brand, paired with a high- or low-arousal jingle. Participants' attitude towards the advertisement, the advertised product, and the product's brand was measured, as well as memory for the product. In general, no sound-odor congruence effect was found on attitude, irrespective of brand familiarity. However, congruence was found to affect recognition: when a high-arousal odor and a high-arousal sound were combined, participants recognized products faster than in the other conditions. In addition, familiar brands were recognized faster than unfamiliar brands, but only when sound or odor arousal was high. This study provides insight into the possible applications of sound-odor congruence for marketing by demonstrating its potential to influence product memory.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/22134808-20191410DOI Listing
January 2019

Measuring Multisensory Imagery of Wine: the Vividness of Wine Imagery Questionnaire.

Multisens Res 2019 01 1;32(3):179-195. Epub 2019 Jan 1.

2Centre for Language Studies, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

When we imagine objects or events, we often engage in multisensory mental imagery. Yet, investigations of mental imagery have typically focused on only one sensory modality - vision. One reason for this is that the most common tool for the measurement of imagery, the questionnaire, has been restricted to unimodal ratings of the object. We present a new mental imagery questionnaire that measures multisensory imagery. Specifically, the newly developed Vividness of Wine Imagery Questionnaire (VWIQ) measures mental imagery of wine in the visual, olfactory, and gustatory modalities. Wine is an ideal domain to explore multisensory imagery because wine drinking is a multisensory experience, it involves the neglected chemical senses (smell and taste), and provides the opportunity to explore the effect of experience and expertise on imagery (from wine novices to experts). The VWIQ questionnaire showed high internal consistency and reliability, and correlated with other validated measures of imagery. Overall, the VWIQ may serve as a useful tool to explore mental imagery for researchers, as well as individuals in the wine industry during sommelier training and evaluation of wine professionals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/22134808-20191340DOI Listing
January 2019

What Makes a Better Smeller?

Perception 2017 Mar-Apr;46(3-4):406-430. Epub 2017 Jan 19.

Centre for Language Studies, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands; Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands; Division of Psychology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Olfaction is often viewed as difficult, yet the empirical evidence suggests a different picture. A closer look shows people around the world differ in their ability to detect, discriminate, and name odors. This gives rise to the question of what influences our ability to smell. Instead of focusing on olfactory deficiencies, this review presents a positive perspective by focusing on factors that make someone a better smeller. We consider three driving forces in improving olfactory ability: one's biological makeup, one's experience, and the environment. For each factor, we consider aspects proposed to improve odor perception and critically examine the evidence; as well as introducing lesser discussed areas. In terms of biology, there are cases of neurodiversity, such as olfactory synesthesia, that serve to enhance olfactory ability. Our lifetime experience, be it typical development or unique training experience, can also modify the trajectory of olfaction. Finally, our odor environment, in terms of ambient odor or culinary traditions, can influence odor perception too. Rather than highlighting the weaknesses of olfaction, we emphasize routes to harnessing our olfactory potential.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0301006616688224DOI Listing
May 2017

Not All Flavor Expertise Is Equal: The Language of Wine and Coffee Experts.

PLoS One 2016 20;11(6):e0155845. Epub 2016 Jun 20.

Centre for Language Studies, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

People in Western cultures are poor at naming smells and flavors. However, for wine and coffee experts, describing smells and flavors is part of their daily routine. So are experts better than lay people at conveying smells and flavors in language? If smells and flavors are more easily linguistically expressed by experts, or more "codable", then experts should be better than novices at describing smells and flavors. If experts are indeed better, we can also ask how general this advantage is: do experts show higher codability only for smells and flavors they are expert in (i.e., wine experts for wine and coffee experts for coffee) or is their linguistic dexterity more general? To address these questions, wine experts, coffee experts, and novices were asked to describe the smell and flavor of wines, coffees, everyday odors, and basic tastes. The resulting descriptions were compared on a number of measures. We found expertise endows a modest advantage in smell and flavor naming. Wine experts showed more consistency in how they described wine smells and flavors than coffee experts, and novices; but coffee experts were not more consistent for coffee descriptions. Neither expert group was any more accurate at identifying everyday smells or tastes. Interestingly, both wine and coffee experts tended to use more source-based terms (e.g., vanilla) in descriptions of their own area of expertise whereas novices tended to use more evaluative terms (e.g., nice). However, the overall linguistic strategies for both groups were en par. To conclude, experts only have a limited, domain-specific advantage when communicating about smells and flavors. The ability to communicate about smells and flavors is a matter not only of perceptual training, but specific linguistic training too.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0155845PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4913926PMC
July 2017
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