Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 49, Issue 8, pp 3462–3469 | Cite as

Brief Report: Olfactory Adaptation in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Hirokazu KumazakiEmail author
  • Taro Muramatsu
  • Masutomo Miyao
  • Ken-ichi Okada
  • Masaru Mimura
  • Mitsuru Kikuchi
Brief Report


Olfactory adaptation is an important process that allows the individual to adjust to changes in the environment. This process has been proposed to be aberrant in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). However, few studies have examined olfactory adaptation in children with ASD. We examined olfactory adaptation in children with ASD and typically developing (TD) children using a pulse ejection system, which resolved problems associated with previous laboratory-based olfactory psychophysical studies. Nine children with ASD and nine TD children participated in this study and all participants completed the entire experiment. Using this system, we found that the TD group showed greater adaptation than the ASD group. Our results provide a better understanding of olfactory adaptation in children with ASD.


Autism spectrum disorders Typical development Olfactory adaptation Pulse ejection system Social impairment 



We have no financial relationships to disclose. The authors gratefully acknowledge the contribution of the participants.

Author Contributions

HK designed the study, conducted the experiment, performed the statistical analyses, analyzed and interpreted the data, and drafted the manuscript. TM, MM, KO, MM, and MK conceived the study, participated in its design, assisted with the data collection and scoring of the behavioral measures, analyzed and interpreted the data, were involved in drafting the manuscript and revised the manuscript critically for important intellectual content. MK was involved in the final approval of the version to be published. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures involving human participants were conducted in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

Participants were recruited from Kanazawa University. After a complete explanation of the study, all the participants and their parents provided written, informed consent. All participants and their parents agreed to participate in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Center for Child Mental DevelopmentKanazawa UniversityKanazawaJapan
  2. 2.Department of NeuropsychiatryKeio University School of MedicineTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Department of Psychosocial MedicineNational Center for Child Health and DevelopmentTokyoJapan
  4. 4.Graduate School of Science and TechnologyKeio UniversityKanagawaJapan

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