Objectives: Olfactory stimulation elicits various physiological responses. However, few reports exist on the changes in gastric motility during olfactory stimulation in humans. In this regard, we carried out electrogastrography (EGG) to non-invasively measure the gastric myoelectrical activity, which regulates gastric motility. Moreover, subjective sensory evaluation was performed to determine which characteristics of vanilla odor at two different concentrations affect the myoelectrical activity.
Methods: The participants consisted of eight healthy young males. EGG and electrocardiography (ECG) recordings were obtained approximately 20 min prior to and during olfactory stimulation. Autonomic nervous system activity was evaluated in terms of heart rate variability (HRV) and mean heart rate (HR) from ECG signals. EGG signals were analyzed by spectral analysis. In addition, the translation error was estimated by the Wayland algorithm. Sensory evaluation was performed using the Visual Analog Scale (VAS).
Results: There were no significant differences in HRV and HR values and results of spectral analyses of EGG signals in all sample presentations. The translation error of EGG signals and the rating of perceived odor intensity significantly increased in a concentration-dependent manner. There was a strong positive correlation between translation error and odor intensity.
Conclusions: The correlation found between translation error and odor intensity suggests that the higher the vanilla odor intensity was perceived, the greater the randomness of EGG signals was. Our results suggest that the application of the Wayland algorithm to EGG signals can be used as an objective indicator in odor evaluation.