Article: article from journal or magazin.
Deviant olfactory experiences, magical ideation, and olfactory sensitivity: a study with healthy German and Japanese subjects
0165-1781 (Print) 0165-1781 (Linking) Comparative Study Journal Article Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Little is known about the relationship between olfactory hallucinations and olfactory sensitivity in psychiatric populations. However, in healthy subjects, a 'psychotic-like' feature, namely magical ideation, has been linked to deviant olfactory experiences. We thus assessed olfactory sensitivity, magical ideation and deviant olfactory experiences in 42 healthy subjects (21 Germans and 21 age- and gender-matched Japanese). The results show that: (1) Germans had significantly higher magical ideation scores and a higher frequency of deviant olfactory experiences than Japanese, and more Germans than Japanese reported having had deviant olfactory experiences at least once in their lives; (2) in Germans, the occurrence of deviant olfactory experiences was correlated with higher magical ideation scores; and (3) there was no relationship between olfactory sensitivity (olfactory thresholds) and either deviant olfactory experiences or magical ideation, respectively. We conclude that: (1) the lack of deviant olfactory experiences in Japanese may best be explained by cultural differences in the response attitude towards questionnaires requiring self-disclosure; (2) the positive relationship between magical ideation and deviant olfactory experiences strengthens the supposed link between 'psychotic-like' features in healthy populations and real hallucinations of psychiatric patients; and (3) the absence of a relationship between olfactory sensitivity and deviant olfactory experiences suggests that their anatomical-functional correlates within temporo-limbic regions may differ.
Adult Cross-Cultural Comparison Culture Female Functional Laterality/physiology Germany/epidemiology Hallucinations/diagnosis/*ethnology/physiopathology Humans Japan/epidemiology Limbic System/physiopathology Male Questionnaires Random Allocation Schizophrenia/*epidemiology/physiopathology Sensory Thresholds/physiology Temporal Lobe/physiopathology
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