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Androstadienone odor thresholds in adolescents.
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2005 (English)In: Horm Behav, ISSN 0018-506X, Vol. 47, no 3, 306-10 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A sex-related difference in olfactory sensitivity to androstenone has been reported to occur during adolescence. More males than females exhibited anosmia to androstenone, or an increase in androstenone threshold with age. The current study addressed the question whether similar, sexually dimorphic effects of aging over puberty can also be found for androstadienone. A total of 102 subjects participated (36 females, 66 males). Similar to previous investigations, subjects were divided into a group of 47 individuals with a mean age of 13.3 years, defined as pre/peri-pubertal, and a group of 55 subjects with a mean age of 17.1 years, defined as post-pubertal. All subjects underwent tests for verbal abilities, general olfactory function, and measurements of androstadienone thresholds. The study provided the following major results: (1) Male subjects exhibited higher androstadienone sensitivity in the pre/peri-pubertal group as compared to the post-pubertal group. This difference was not observed in female subjects. Correspondingly, a negative correlation between age and androstadienone sensitivity was found for male subjects, but not for female subjects. (2) In contrast to this sex-specific change of the androstadienone odor threshold, verbal skills and odor identification abilities increased with age in all subjects regardless of their sex. In conclusion, the present observations confirm previous research on sex-differentiated effects of aging during puberty on sensitivity towards odorous steroids. While the underlying causes are unknown, it may be hypothesized that the decreased sensitivity could result from the increased endogenous levels of androstadienone in male subjects. Future studies should include both steroid and non-steroid odorants to futher explore these age-related changes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 47, no 3, 306-10 p.
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-68189PubMedID: 15708759OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-68189DiVA: diva2:96100
Available from: 2005-02-16 Created: 2005-02-16 Last updated: 2011-01-12

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