Presentation on theme: "“Calm Yourself”: The Psychophysiology of the Odor Regulation of Mood Department of Psychology, Human Emotions Laboratory, Rutgers University, Piscataway,"— Presentation transcript:
“Calm Yourself”: The Psychophysiology of the Odor Regulation of Mood Department of Psychology, Human Emotions Laboratory, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ, USA Frederic R. Gaudios, Jr., Jeannette M. Haviland-Jones, and John M. Ackroff Supported by International Flavors and Fragrances Inc., Union Beach, NJ, USA Thirty-six Rutgers University students (18 male, 18 female) viewed three film clips while exposed to one of three odors (Citrus, Powder, or control) and attached to physiological equipment recording thoracic respiration and galvanic skin response (GSR). Films used in this study were computer-generated animations previously shown to elicit the emotions of fear, happiness, and sadness in a context-independent manner. The “Fear” film elicited fear and increased respiration and GSR, the “Sad” film elicited sadness, and the “Happy” film elicited happiness and increased GSR. The Citrus odor showed increased respiration across all videos compared to the other odors. Odors are found everywhere, and their influence on emotional experience has recently received a great deal of attention from the scientific community. Since Richard Axel and Linda B. Buck were awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize in Medicine for outlining the anatomy and physiology of the olfactory system, research on the long- standing psychological belief that odor and emotional processing in the brain were strongly intertwined has led to new research directions. Mood can influence behavior; long-term effects of mood are found on cognition and health (Fredrickson & Losada, 2005). Odors are also involved in associative learning. Herz, Schankler, and Beland (2004) found participants performed a moderately-challenging puzzle task quicker and self-reported higher levels of frustration when exposed to the same odor experienced during an earlier frustrating computer-game task. Sympathetic or parasympathetic effects in response to a stimulus can be dominant at various and differing times in mammals, including humans and rats (Bernston, Cacioppo, & Quigley, 1993). A recent study (Bensafi, Brown, Khan, Levenson, & Sobel, 2004) quantifies the context-dependent effects of steroid sex hormones on mood, memory, and autonomic function. Skin conductance response (SCR) and respiration rate were measured; the chemosensory stimulus elicited gender-specific effects. Palomba et al. (2000) found a standard sympathetic response in participants viewing a film clip depicting threats of anger and violence, with an increase in SCR in participants viewing a film clip depicting surgery. In an experimental setting, emotion is typically elicited using film clips from motion pictures (Gross & Levenson, 1995). Since any movie may provoke different reactions in different people, using context-independent emotion elicitors may provide increased validity in emotion research. For DES ratings, there was a main effect of odor (F(2,30) = 3.35, p <.05). Emotion reports were higher for Citrus than control (t(30)= 3.56, p <.05). The “Happy” video elicits happiness (t sad (33) = 8.93, p <.01; t fear (33) = 7.62, p <.01). Citrus odor increases respiration rate compared to control odor during all film clips (t before (30) = 3.50, p <.05; t after (30) = 3.51, p <.05). The “Fear” video elicits fear, but the “Sad” video does as well. Respiration rate is increased upon transition to video presentation, although these effects normalize. During videos, respiration rate decreases. “Fear” film increases respiration rate compared to “before” baseline (t(150)= 6.05, p <.01), and “Happy” and “Fear” films increase respiration rate compared to “after” baseline (Happy: t(150)= 4.11, p <.05; Fear: t(150)= 4.80, p <.05). Materials and Methods Thirty-six Rutgers University students (18 female, 18 male) volunteered to participate in “Calm Yourself”. Three odors were used: Citrus, Powder, and DEP, an organic solvent free of any natural odor. The solvent was used to dilute the experimental odors such that they had equal intensities. All odors were designed and previously studied by International Flavors and Fragrances, Inc. 1.3 mL of one odor was placed on a gauze pad worn by each participant as a “fragrance necklace.” Three six-minute videos designed by the Human Emotions Laboratory at Rutgers University to elicit specific emotions (fear, sadness, or happiness) were used. They consisted of computer animations generated using Macromedia Flash software and are believed to be context-independent stressors. Each participant saw all videos in a randomized order. Physiological baselines were achieved by alternating 5-minute sine wave oscillations (at 8 cycles/min) between videos. Participants were given the option to match breathing to the sine wave presentation. Physiological measures (thoracic respiration and skin conductance response [SCR]) were acquired using MP100 transducer hardware manufactured by BIOPAC, Inc., and provided by IFF. Respiration rate was recorded via a transducer centered at the bottom of the participant’s sternum. Two silicon GSR electrodes were placed on the palmar surface of each participant’s left hand. Acqknowledge 3.7.3 software (manufactured by BIOPAC, Inc. and provided by IFF) was used for data recording. To eliminate potential discomfort, same-sex assistants attached the electrodes. Differential Emotional Scales (Izard et al., 1974) were filled out by participants before odor application, after odor application, after viewing the first baseline presentation, and in response to the three videos. DES filled out in response to videos were filled out retrospectively, after the study had concluded. Note: The design and actualization of “Calm Yourself” was performed in partnership with Adam S. Mussell. This poster discusses the effects of three context- independent video clips shown to elicit the emotions of fear, sadness, and happiness on sympathetic stress response, odor regulation, and mood. Adam S. Mussell will report return to baseline, as well as relevant effects on odor regulation and mood, in his poster. References Bensafi, M., Brown, W.M., Khan, R., Levenson, B., & Sobel, N. (2004). Sniffing human sex-steroid derived compounds modulates mood, memory, and autonomic nervous system function in specific behavioral contexts. Behavioural Brain Research, 152, 11-22. Berntson, G.G., Cacioppo, J.T., & Quigley, K.S. (1993). Cardiac psychophysiology and autonomic space in humans: empirical perspectives and conceptual limitations. Psychological Bulletin, 114, 296-322. Fredrickson, B.L. & Losada, M.F. (2005). Positive Affect and the Complex Dynamics of Human Flourishing. American Psychologist, 60, 678-686. Gross, J.J., & Levenson, R.W. (1995). Emotion elicitation using films. Cognition and Emotion, 9, 87-108. Herz, R.S., Schankler, C., & Beland, S. (2004). Olfaction, Emotion, and Associative Learning: Effects on Motivated Behavior. Motivation and Emotion, 28, 363- 383. Izard, C.E., Dougherty, F.E., Bloxom, B.M., & Kotsch, N.E. (1974). The Differential Emotions Scale: A method of measuring the meaning of subjective experience of discrete emotions. Nashville: Vanderbilt University, Department of Psychology. Palomba, D., Sarlo, M., Angrilli, A., Mini, A., & Stegagno, L. (2000). Cardiac responses associated with affective processing of unpleasant film stimuli. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 36, 45-57. the “Happy” film probably caused a general state of sympathetic activation due to the film’s positive content rather than an autonomic fear response. The “Happy” film also elicited happiness based on self-reported moods, but analysis of the means showed that “Happy” maintained baseline happiness, whereas “Sad” and “Fear” decreased it. Since two-thirds of the participants viewed “Happy” immediately following one of the two negatively charged clips, “Happy” may elicit an “emotional return to baseline,” although further research is needed to determine this empirically. The increased respiration rate at the start of the videos may be attributed to a sympathetic startle response that normalized over time. This normalization may be due to increased familiarity with the experimental procedure during the course of the study. Results show that exposure to the Citrus odor facilitated a subjective emotional response elicited through context-independent video clips. This emotional response led to an increased intensity of autonomic stress response. Further research could attempt to validate with different odors, or explore odor effects on other physiological measures. Developmental studies could attempt to quantify any changes in odor regulation associated with puberty, and cognitive studies could attempt to correlate the effects of odor regulation to decision-making or problem solving skills. Discussion Participants exposed to Citrus odor showed more reactive self-reported moods and higher respiration rate than those exposed to control odor for all videos. Since emotions are multi-faceted systems that affect mood, behavior, and physiology, the Citrus odor may have served as an emotional activator, facilitating behavioral and physiological responses (Fredrickson & Losada, 2005). The “Fear” and “Happy” films proved to elicit their respective emotions as shown by increased respiration rate. While both films influenced respiration rate identically, Results A split-plot analysis of variance was used, with odor and gender as between-participant variables, and video within participants. Tukey’s HSD was used for post hoc pairwise comparisons. Data were analyzed for effect of order and video. For physiological data, both the first 60 seconds of each “event” and the 60 seconds surrounding each “transition” between events were analyzed. No order effects were found, so findings of effects of video were not confounded.