Modifications of EEG Related to Directed Perception and Analysis of Olfactory Information in Humans
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- Cherninskii, A.A., Zima, I.G., Makarchouk, N.Y. et al. Neurophysiology (2009) 41: 63. doi:10.1007/s11062-009-9078-z
We recorded EEG in adult volunteers in the course of perception of smells of plant essential oils under conditions of directed attention. It was found that perception of olfactory information, even in the case of mild intensity of the smells inducing no aversive effects, correlates with noticeable changes in the EEG characteristics mostly typical of the reaction of nonspecific EEG activation induced by sensory stimulation and manifested in a decrease in the spectral power, SP, of low-frequency EEG components (6–10 Hz)). In addition, the SP of relatively high-frequency EEG components (11–25 Hz) increased; this effect was most pronounced in the occipital regions of the neocortex. Perception of the smells of essential oils was also accompanied by increases in the coherence of EEG oscillations, most intense in the β2 range (20–25 Hz). Such modifications were maximum in the left temporal/parietal region; this is interpreted as an indication of the special role of these cortical areas in the processes of interaction between the neocortical part of the olfactory analyzer and the respective structures of other analyzer systems. It is hypothesized that such interaction is necessary for the formation of a semantic image of the analyzed stimuli.