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Affective Sciences through the Chemical Senses

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889450787 Year: Pages: 126 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-078-7 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2017-07-06 13:27:36
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In people's minds, smells, flavors and affective phenomena are perceived as closely linked. But is it genuinely the case? The scientific study of this question is a rapidly expanding field, both in healthy and in clinical populations. Although still under-studied in comparison to other sensory modalities, chemical senses have proven to bring unique knowledge in the understanding of affective phenomena. In this context, this Research Topic is aimed to offer a snapshot of the present knowledge and questions raised in this field. Topics include, but are not limited to: affects elicited by odors and/or flavors in different individuals, contexts or cultures; emotional potency of odors in guiding human behavior and cognition (e.g. attention, memory formation, decisions and choices, withdrawal and approach behavior); affects communicated by body odors; affect regulation disorders and chemosensory perception. Studies on the biological underpinnings of these effects are also included.

Olfactory Consciousness across Disciplines

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889194223 Year: Pages: 130 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-422-3 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Our sense of smell pervasively influences our most common behaviors and daily experience, yet little is known about olfactory consciousness. Over the past decade and a half research in both the fields of Consciousness Studies and Olfaction has blossomed, however, olfactory consciousness has received little to no attention. The olfactory systems unique anatomy, functional organization, sensory processes, and perceptual experiences offers a fecund area for exploring all aspects of consciousness, as well as a external perspective for re-examining the assumptions of contemporary theories of consciousness. It has even been suggested that the olfactory system may represent the minimal neuroanatomy that is required for conscious processing. Given the variegated nature of research on consciousness, we include original papers concerning the nature of olfactory consciousness. The scope of the special edition widely incorporates olfaction as it relates to Consciousness, Awareness, Attention, Phenomenal- or Access-Consciousness, and Qualia. Research concerning olfaction and cross-modal integration as it relates to conscious experience is also address. As the initial foray into this uncharted area of research, we include contributions from across all disciplines contributing to cognitive neuroscience, including neurobiology, neurology, psychology, philosophy, linguistics, and computer sciences. It is our hope that this Research Topic will serve as the impetus for future interdisciplinary research on olfaction and consciousness.

Applied Olfactory Cognition

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889193431 Year: Pages: 239 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-343-1 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-03-10 08:14:32
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Foreword by Richard J. Stevenson, Macquarie University (Australia):It was long thought that the human nose might be able to discriminate somewhere in the order of 10,000 different odourants. The recent finding that the human nose can discriminate something like a trillion different smells serves as yet another reminder that we have again underestimated the capacity of our sense of smell (Bushdid, Magnasco, Vosshall & Keller, 2014). This volume serves as a further corrective for anyone who should hold the view that olfaction is unimportant in human affairs. The papers presented in this ebook, carefully collated and overseen by Aldo Zucco, Benoist Schaal, Mats Olsson and Ilona Croy, showcase a large number of quite different reasons for studying the applied side of olfaction, and indeed human olfaction in general. The 23 contributions presented here cover a broad range of topics, which illustrate contemporary interests in our field. Although with a strong applied focus, a noteworthy feature of this ebook is the richness of the theoretical perspectives that are developed. These range from considerations of olfactory perception, memory, expertise, and priming right the way through to receptor genetics. These contributions, from many leading experts in the field, will surely shape much of the applied work linking olfaction to disease, which is a further focus of this ebook. In respect to health and disease, the chapters on aging, pregnancy, depression, alcohol dependency and environmental odours, present overviews and rich new data on many contemporary problems, to which the study of olfaction is now contributing. A particularly notable aspect of olfactory experience is the affective impact that odours can have on people and their lives. The ebook covers some particularly intriguing aspects of work in this area, with empirical studies investigating dissociations between wanting and liking, stress reduction in the elderly, mother-infant bonding, and the emotions that different odourants can evoke. This affective line of work is nicely complemented by empirical studies on expertise, the effect of odours on visual attention, and the relationship between particular personality traits and interest in olfaction. The gradual appropriation of methods from cognitive neuroscience into olfaction is also nicely represented in this ebook, with at least three of the chapters reporting data using neuroimaging, including a particular intriguing study looking at recognition of odours in mixtures. Finally, the close links between olfactory perception and sensory evaluation are also reflected in a chapter on wine. I hope that readers of this e-book will be struck, as I have been in reading its various chapters, how much olfaction affects our lives, and how the study of this sense can enrich it.

Brain Cholinergic Mechanisms

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889197149 Year: Pages: 127 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-714-9 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-04-07 11:22:02
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Much of our understanding of brain physiology has focused on what one might call, first order processes. These essentially include the primary synaptic mechanisms underlying excitation (mainly glutamate) and inhibition (mainly GABA). Our attention has focused on how the balance of excitation and inhibition regulates the timing, patterns, and extent of information flow across various circuits. A lot less is understood regarding second order processes that sculpt and modify these primary interactions. One such modulatory transmitter in the brain is acetylcholine (ACh). The importance of ACh in modulating various behaviors related to learning, memory, and attention has been recognized over the last four decades as has its involvement in various neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders. However, our understanding of the mechanistic bases for these actions is at its infancy, at best and much remains to be understood. The array of receptor subtypes for nicotinic and muscarinic receptors, their different locations, and complex signal transduction mechanisms remain a puzzle. Transmitter (ACh) release sites and their relationship to receptor loci are poorly understood. Overall, we lack a unifying framework for conceptualizing how disparate actions of the transmitter on receptors lead to circuit modulation and, eventually, influences on cognition. By its very nature, reports on cholinergic signaling are quite scattered, presented in journals across sub-disciplines and in the context of the systems they modulate. Hence, there is need for consolidation of these studies under a single cover that would allow one to compare and contrast the effects of this transmitter across systems and contexts. This special issue represents one such compilation. The issue addresses cholinergic modulation of defined circuits that lead to specific behaviors and consists of a judicious mixture of review articles and primary papers. The articles focus on three aspects of the system: 1) Cellular targets of cholinergic signaling. 2) Receptor mechanisms. 3) Endogenous transmitter distribution and action. While no common mechanism emerges that can explain cholinergic actions on brain functions, on can postulate that the transmitter system is dynamic, modulating the balance of excitation and inhibition in various circuits. This modulation sets up timed network oscillations and it is tempting to speculate that these oscillations form a template for better encoding of afferent inputs. One can broadly envision the role of the cholinergic system as facilitating processes that allow for more efficient acquisition of learning and engraving of memories. Thus, understanding the mechanisms underlying tonic and stimulus-dependent release of ACh and how it alters firing templates of neuronal networks would be the first step towards elucidating its role in learning and memory. This special topics edition provides clues to some of the actions of ACh. It is hoped that the articles allow the reader to extract common themes and potential mechanisms of cholinergic regulation that will lead to elucidation of general principles governing the actions of this important neuromodulator.

Olfactory memory networks: from emotional learning to social behaviors

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889194865 Year: Pages: 288 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-486-5 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-11-16 15:44:59
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Odors are powerful stimuli that can evoke emotional states, and support learning and memory. Decades of research have indicated that the neural basis for this strong "odor-emotional memory" connection is due to the uniqueness of the anatomy of the olfactory pathways. Indeed, unlike the other sensory systems, the sense of smell does not pass through the thalamus to be routed to the cortex. Rather, odor information is relayed directly to the limbic system, a brain region typically associated with memory and emotional processes. This provides olfaction with a unique and potent power to influence mood, acquisition of new information, and use of information in many different contexts including social interactions. Indeed, olfaction is crucially involved in behaviors essential for survival of the individual and species, including identification of predators, recognition of individuals for procreation or social hierarchy, location of food, as well as attachment between mating pairs and infant-caretaker dyads. Importantly, odors are sampled through sniffing behavior. This active sensing plays an important role in exploratory behaviors observed in the different contexts mentioned above. Odors are also critical for learning and memory about events and places and constitute efficient retrieval cues for the recall of emotional episodic memories. This broad role for odors appears highly preserved across species. In addition, the consistent early developmental emergence of olfactory function across diverse species also provides a unique window of opportunity for analysis of myriad behavioral systems from rodents to nonhuman primates and humans. This, when combined with the relatively conserved organization of the olfactory system in mammals, provides a powerful framework to explore how complex behaviors can be modulated by odors to produce adaptive responses, and to investigate the underlying neural networks. The present research topic brings together cutting edge research on diverse species and developmental stages, highlighting convergence and divergence between humans and animals to facilitate translational research.

Scents that matter - from olfactory stimuli to genes, behaviors and beyond

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889198139 Year: Pages: 254 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-813-9 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Scents can carry a lot of important information about the environment, conspecifics and other species. While some of these scents are positively related, as the odor of food, mating partners, or familiar conspecifics, other scents are associated with negative situations and events, e.g. the occurrence of a predator, an aggressive territorial conspecific or spoiled food. The present research topic is focused on such “scents that matter”, i.e., scents that are crucial for the survival of an organism. Since many years, the importance of scents always attracts scientists to investigate how scents affect the behavior of mammals, via which mechanisms scents are perceived and how scents modulate neural circuitries responsible for behavior. We believe that this research topic gives a nice overview on current ‘olfactory research.’ Many of the contributions are focused on scents with aversive effects, i.e. kairomones or pheromones that warn about potential threats. These studies range from research articles identifying new active odor components of predator odors, describing the induced behavioral changes and the underlying neuroanatomical and neurochemical mechanisms, to review articles summarizing the findings of the last decades on this field. Other articles are focused on the effects of scents in social behaviors or on associative learning. This research topic also represents nicely the current combination of methodological approaches in ‘olfactory research’: cell biologists, geneticists, behavioral pharmacologists, neuroanatomists, and computational modelers work effectively together to unravel the mechanisms of how scents matters in humans and animals.

Functional Characterization of Insect Chemoreceptors: Receptivity Range, Expression and Evolution

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889198603 Year: Pages: 163 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-860-3 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Ecology --- Science (General)
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Olfaction and taste are of critical importance to insects and other animals, since vital behaviours, including mate, food and host seeking, as well as predator and toxin avoidance, are guided by chemosensory cues. Mate and habitat choice are to a large extent determined by chemical signals, and chemoreceptors contribute accordingly to pre-mating isolation barriers and speciation. In addition to fundamental physiological, ecological and evolutionary consideration, the knowledge of insect taste and especially olfaction is also of great importance to human economies, since it facilitates a more informed approach to the management of insect pests of agricultural crops and forests, and insect vectors of disease. Chemoreceptors, which bind to external chemical signals and then transform and send the sensory information to the brain, are at the core of the peripheral olfactory and gustatory system and have thus been the focus of recent research in chemical ecology. Specifically, emphasis has been placed on functional characterization of olfactory receptor genes, which are derived from three large gene families, namely the odorant receptors, gustatory receptors and ionotropic receptors. Spatial expression patterns of olfactory receptors in diverse chemosensory tissues provide information on divergent functions, with regards to ecologically relevant behaviours. On the other hand, characterization of olfactory receptor activation profiles, or “deorphanization”, provides complimentary data on the molecular range of receptivity to the fundamental unit of the olfactory sense. The aim of this Research Topic is to give an update on the breadth and depth of research currently in progress related to understanding the molecular mechanisms of insect chemoreception, with specific emphasis on the olfactory receptors.

Coding Properties in Invertebrate Sensory Systems

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889451067 Year: Pages: 227 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-106-7 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Physiology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-07-06 13:27:36
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Animals rely on sensory input from their environment for survival and reproduction. Depending on the importance of a signal for a given species, accuracy of sensory coding might vary from pure detection up to precise coding of intensity, quality and temporal features of the signal. Highly sophisticated sense organs and related central nervous sensory pathways can be of utmost importance for animals in a complex environment and when using advanced communication systems. In sensory systems different anatomical and physiological features have evolved to optimally encode behaviourally relevant signals at the level of sense organs and central processing. The wide range of organizational complexity, in combination with their relatively simple and accessible nervous systems, makes invertebrates excellent models to study general sensory coding principles. The contributions to this e-book illustrate on one hand particular features of specific sensory systems, and on the other hand indicate not only common features of sensory coding across invertebrate phyla, but also similar processing principles of complex stimuli between different sensory modalities. The chapters show that the extraction of behaviourally relevant signals from all environmental stimuli, as well as the detection of low intensity signals and the analysis of temporal features can be similar across sensory modalities, including olfaction, vision, mechanoreception, and heat perception.

From Ecology to Brain Development: Bridging Separate Evolutionary Paradigms

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889455577 Year: Pages: 133 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-557-7 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2019-01-23 14:53:42
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The nervous system is the product of biological evolution and is shaped by the interplay between extrinsic factors determining the ecology of animals, and by intrinsic processes that dictate the developmental rules that give rise to adult functional structures. This special topic is oriented to develop an integrative view from behavior and ecology to neurodevelopmental processes. We address questions such as how do sensory systems evolve according to ecological conditions? How do neural networks organize to generate adaptive behavior? How does cognition and brain connectivity evolve? What are the developmental mechanisms that give rise to functional adaptation? Accordingly, the book is divided in three sections, (i) Evolution of sensorimotor systems; (ii) Cognitive computations and neural circuits, and (iii) Development and brain evolution. We hope that this initiative will support an interdisciplinary program that addresses the nervous system as a unified organ, subject to both functional and developmental constraints, where the final outcome results of a compromise between different parameters rather than being the result of several single variables acting independently of each other.

Marine Biomolecules

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889196616 Year: Pages: 97 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-661-6 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Chemistry (General) --- General and Civil Engineering --- Biotechnology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-08-16 10:34:25
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Oceans include the greatest extremes of pressure, temperature and light, and habitats can range from tropical waters to ocean trenches, several kilometers below sea level at high pressure. With its 70% of the surface of our planet marine ecosystem still remains largely unexplored, understudied and underexploited in comparison with terrestrial ecosystems, organisms and bioprocesses. The biological adaptation of marine organisms to a wide range of environmental conditions in the specific environment (temperature, salinity, tides, pressure, radiation, light, etc.) has made them an enormous reservoir of interesting biological material for both basic research and biotechnological improvements. As a consequence marine ecosystem is valued as a source of enzymes and other biomolecules exhibiting new functions and activities to fulfill human needs. Indeed, in recent years it has been recognised as an untapped source of novel enzymes and metabolites even though, with regard to the assignment of precise biological functions to genes, proteins and enzymes, it is still considered as the least developed. Using metagenomics to recover genetic material directly from environmental samples, this biogenetic diversification can be accessed but despite the contributions from metagenomic technologies the new field requires major improvements. A few words on the complexity of marine environments should be added here. This complexity ranges from symbiotic relationships to biology and chemistry of defence mechanisms and from chemoecology of marine invasions up to the strategies found in prokaryotes to adapt to extreme environments. The interdisciplinary study of this complexity will enable researchers to find an arsenal of enzymes and pathways greatly demanded in biotechnological applications. As far as marine enzymes are concerned they may carry novel chemical and stereochemical properties, thus biocatalytically oriented studies (testing of suitable substrates, appropriate checking of reaction conditions, study of stereochemical asset of catalysis) should be performed to appropriately reveal this “chemical biodiversity” which increases interest for these enzymes. Among other biomolecules, polysaccharides are the most abundant renewable biomaterial found on land and in oceans. Their molecular diversity is very interesting; except polysaccharides used traditionally in food and non-food industries, the structure and the functionality of most of them are unknown and unexplored. Brown seaweeds synthesize unique bioactive polysaccharides: laminarans, alginic acids and fucoidans. A wide range of biological activities (anticoagulant, antitumor, antiviral, anti-inflammation, etc.) have been attributed to fucoidans and their role with respect to structure-activity relationship is still under debate. In this Research Topic, we wish to centralize and review contributions, idea and comments related to the issues above. In particular results of enzymatic bioprospecting in gross marine environment will be acknowledged along with research for structural characterization and biological function of biomolecules such as marine polysaccharides and all kind of research related to the complexity of bioprocesses in marine environments. Inter- and multi-disciplinary approach to this field is favoured in this Research Topic and could greatly be facilitated by the web and open access nature as well.

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