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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Enhanced chemosensory detection of negative emotions in congenital blindness

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  1. Exploring Postoperative Cognitive Dysfunction and Delirium in Noncardiac Surgery Using MRI: A Systematic Review

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  2. Thalamocortical Connectivity and Microstructural Changes in Congenital and Late Blindness

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  3. Simultaneous assessment of white matter changes in microstructure and connectedness in the blind brain

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  4. Neurexin-Neuroligin Synaptic Complex Regulates Schizophrenia-Related DISC1/Kal-7/Rac1 "Signalosome"

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  5. Crossmodal recruitment of the ventral visual stream in congenital blindness

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  1. Expression and localization of CB1R, NAPE-PLD, and FAAH in the vervet monkey nucleus accumbens

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  2. Preserved sleep microstructure in blind individuals

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  3. Sleep structure in blindness is influenced by circadian desynchrony

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It is generally acknowledged that congenitally blind individuals develop superior sensory abilities in order to compensate for their lack of vision. Substantial research has been done on somatosensory and auditory sensory information processing of the blind. However, relatively little information is available about compensatory plasticity in the olfactory domain. Although previous studies indicate that blind individuals have superior olfactory abilities, no studies so far have investigated their sense of smell in relation to social and affective communication. The current study compares congenitally blind and normal sighted individuals in their ability to discriminate and identify emotions from body odours. A group of 14 congenitally blind and 14 age- and sex-matched sighted control subjects participated in the study. We compared participants' abilities to detect and identify by smelling sweat from donors who had been watching excerpts from emotional movies showing amusement, fear, disgust, or sexual arousal. Our results show that congenitally blind subjects outperformed sighted controls in identifying fear from male donors. In addition, there was a strong tendency that blind individuals were also better in detecting disgust. Our findings reveal that congenitally blind individuals are better at identifying ecologically important emotions and provide new insights into the mechanisms of social and affective communication in blindness.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNeural Plasticity
Volume2015
Pages (from-to)469750
ISSN2090-5904
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Research areas

  • Adult, Affect, Blindness, Discrimination (Psychology), Emotions, Fear, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Neuronal Plasticity, Odors, Olfactory Perception, Sweat

ID: 46175555