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AChems Press Release

Odor primaries: an olfactory analogue of RGB

We generate an olfactory perceptual space that implies a set of odor primaries, namely a limited set of molecules that can mix to form any perceivable odor.

How do you measure a smell? We related information on chemical odor structure to information on odor perception in order to generate a numeric scale for smell. We then identified the smallest difference between two odors along this scale that can still be discriminated by the human nose. This tiniest yet detectable difference is the “just noticeable difference” (JND) in olfaction. Finally, we identified a set of molecules we could use to generate mixtures that are within JND of all perceivable smells. In other words, we identified odor primaries that can mix to form any perceivable odor. (contact Dr. Noam Sobel, noam.sobel@weizmann.ac.il, +972-08-9346253)

The poster presentation “Defining The Just Noticeable Difference (Jnd) In Olfaction Allows Digitizing Smell” (#P133) takes place Wednesday, 18 April, 8:00 – 10:30 am ET in the Estero Ballroom.

Full author list: Aharon Ravia, Kobi Snitz, David Harel, Noam Sobel