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Pulse Width Modulation Applied to Olfactory Stimulation for Intensity Tuning.

By Patrice Andrieu, Pierre-Édouard Billot, Jean-Louis Millot and Tijani Gharbi

Abstract

For most olfactometers described in the literature, adjusting olfactory stimulation intensity involves modifying the dilution of the odorant in a neutral solution (water, mineral, oil, etc.), the dilution of the odorant air in neutral airflow, or the surface of the odorant in contact with airflow. But, for most of these above-mentioned devices, manual intervention is necessary for adjusting concentration. We present in this article a method of controlling odorant concentration via a computer which can be implemented on even the most dynamic olfactometers. We used Pulse Width Modulation (PWM), a technique commonly used in electronic or electrical engineering, and we have applied it to odor delivery. PWM, when applied to odor delivery, comprises an alternative presentation of odorant air and clean air at a high frequency. The cycle period (odor presentation and rest) is 200 ms. In order to modify odorant concentration, the ratio between the odorant period and clean air presentation during a cycle is modified. This ratio is named duty cycle. Gas chromatography measurements show that this method offers a range of mixing factors from 33% to 100% (continuous presentation of odor). Proof of principle is provided via a psychophysical experiment. Three odors (isoamyl acetate, butanol and pyridine) were presented to twenty subjects. Each odor was delivered three times with five values of duty cycles. After each stimulation, the subjects were asked to estimate the intensity of the stimulus on a 10 point scale, ranging from 0 (undetectable) to 9 (very strong). Results show a main effect of the duty cycles on the intensity ratings for all tested odors

Topics: Medicine, R, Science, Q
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
DOI identifier: 10.1371/journal.pone.0145373
OAI identifier: oai:doaj.org/article:365126015d5040aa834caf642b4f782f
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