Reduced Pleasant Touch Appraisal in the Presence of a Disgusting Odor

Here, a study about a disgusting odor, with a distinct touch:

croyReduced Pleasant Touch Appraisal in the Presence of a Disgusting Odor,” Ilona Croy [pictured here], Silvia D’Angelo, Håkan Olausson, PLoS One, epub March 24, 2014. (Thanks to investigator Carmen Nobel for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, report:

“Forty-five healthy participants (mean age 23.3 +/− 3years SD, 24 females) were presented to slow (3 cm/s) and fast (30 cm/s) brush stroking delivered by a robot to the forearm. Touch pleasantness under the influence of an unpleasant odor (Civette, smelling like feces) and an intensity matched pleasant odor (Rose) was compared to an odorless control condition…. The unpleasant odor decreased touch pleasantness for both stroking velocities compared to the odorless control (p<0.005) whereas the rose odor did not change touch pleasantness significantly…. We conclude that touch perception is modulated by odors. An unpleasant odor has the potential to reduce the perceived pleasantness of touch.”