Scent for visual attention: What you smell is what you see
|Keywords:||嗅覺;視覺;警覺性;方向性;執行控制;精油;olfaction;vision;alertness;orienting;executive control;essential oil||Issue Date:||2012||Abstract:||
It is believed that essential oils have powerful effects on human behavior (e.g., enhancing attraction by the opposite sex, relaxing or invigorating), and they are often touted in various aromatherapy advertisements. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether, and how, various essential oils affect three major components of visual attention: alertness, orienting, and executive control. Participants took part in the Attention Network Test (ANT) while smelling the essential oils of Chamaecyparis formosensis (an endemic conifer of Taiwan), Eucalyptus globulus (an Australian native tree), orange, lavender, or water. Results show that Chamaecyparis formosens affects the efficiency of the visual attention system by reducing the effect of orienting, and should be avoided in work that has high spatial demands of attentional orienting, like driving. Eucalyptus globules produces a larger interference effect in the executive control system suggesting it enhances a larger span of spatial attention associated with positive emotions (Rowe et al., 2007). Surprisingly orange and lavender oils do not affect any component of the visual attention network, especially not alertness as we expected. This is the first empirical study that shows olfactory effects of essential oils on orienting and executive control of visual attention and suggests there are at least two olfactory pathways in addition to the danger-related alerting system.
|Appears in Collections:||心理學系|
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