Format

Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2013 Sep 18;8(9):e73289. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0073289. eCollection 2013.

Categorical dimensions of human odor descriptor space revealed by non-negative matrix factorization.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Bates College, Lewiston, Maine, United States of America ; Program in Neuroscience, Bates College, Lewiston, Maine, United States of America.

Abstract

In contrast to most other sensory modalities, the basic perceptual dimensions of olfaction remain unclear. Here, we use non-negative matrix factorization (NMF)--a dimensionality reduction technique--to uncover structure in a panel of odor profiles, with each odor defined as a point in multi-dimensional descriptor space. The properties of NMF are favorable for the analysis of such lexical and perceptual data, and lead to a high-dimensional account of odor space. We further provide evidence that odor dimensions apply categorically. That is, odor space is not occupied homogenously, but rather in a discrete and intrinsically clustered manner. We discuss the potential implications of these results for the neural coding of odors, as well as for developing classifiers on larger datasets that may be useful for predicting perceptual qualities from chemical structures.

PMID:
24058466
PMCID:
PMC3776812
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0073289
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center