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J Psychiatr Res. 2013 Nov;47(11):1636-41. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2013.07.014. Epub 2013 Aug 14.

The effect of odor valence on olfactory performance in schizophrenia patients, unaffected relatives and at-risk youth.

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Neuropsychiatry Section, Department of Psychiatry, Philadelphia, PA, USA; Smell and Taste Center, Department of Otorhinolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery, Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA; Division of Medical Psychology, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA. Electronic address:


Given the presence of odor identification impairment in individuals with schizophrenia and recent evidence of aberrant odor hedonic processing, the aim of this investigation was to examine the influence of valence and intensity on odor identification in schizophrenia patients, their first-degree family members, and young persons at clinical risk for psychosis. Participants completed the 16-item Sniffin' Stick Odor Identification Test. A logistic regression was conducted to assess the influence of valence and intensity on odor identification accuracy. Identification performance in the schizophrenia patients and youths at clinical risk for psychosis was significantly influenced by odor valence, but not intensity. Identification accuracy in first-degree family members was not influenced by valence or intensity. These data suggest that abnormalities in odor valence perception may represent an environmentally-mediated marker for hedonic disturbance that could have predictive utility in future conversion to psychosis. Further research examining the utility of odor valence measures as markers for psychosis risk is warranted.


Anhedonia; Emotion; Olfaction; Schizophrenia prodrome; Smell identification

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