Ozbek, Irene N.
Biderman, Michael; Santiago, Manuel
College of Arts and Sciences
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
The WUTC Threshold Test is a new test of olfactory ability that focuses on the idea that deficits in olfactory ability are not necessarily generalizable to all odors. Though numerous diseases and disorders have been shown to lead to a loss of olfaction, tests of olfactory sensitivity have been limited to performance detecting a single odor. The WUTC is comprised of five odors that were selected based on differences in how they interact with the olfactory system and the chemical properties they possess. By utilizing a diverse odor profile, relationships between olfactory deficits to certain odors and specific diseases can be explored. The test also employs randomized, multiple presentation of odorants along with null-stimulus trials. Using this methodology, statistical measures of participant sensitivity, response-bias, threshold, and inter-rater reliability can be calculated with a single administration of the test. A pilot study, consisting of thirty three (N=33) participants, was conducted. Subject demographic data was also collected in order to conduct exploratory analyses and aid in the further development of the test. The reasoning and methodology of the WUTC Threshold test are discussed along with the analyses of the subject data. The results of this pilot study suggest that certain ailments do not have significant olfactory deficits to all odorants, only particular odor molecules. The principles behind the development of the WUTC Threshold Test may lead to the further understanding of links between olfaction and disease and an increase in the value of examining olfactory ability in a clinical setting.
I would like to acknowledge Dr. Nicky Ozbek for the years of guidance, Dr. Santiago for his support and generosity, and Dr. Michael Biderman for his advice concerning statistical analyses. I would also like to thank the entire research team for their generous support throughout this study. This research was supported in part by a grant through the UTC Wheeler Center for Odor Research.
M. S.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science.
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Tewalt, William A., "The WUTC threshold test: a new perspective in olfactory assessment" (2013). Masters Theses and Doctoral Dissertations.