Projects
Name
Diagnosis of olfactory loss using electrophysiological and various psychophysical approaches
University
Germany (bvmd) - Technische Universitaet, Dresden
Domain
Otorhinolaryngology
Departement
Dept. of ORL, University of Dresden Medical School
Head
Prof. Dr. Thomas Zahnert
Tutor
Prof. Dr. Thomas Hummel
Languages
fluent English, German would be good, but is not a prerequisite
Duration
4 weeks
Availability
Cities/Months Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Augt Sep Oct Nov Dec
Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Type of Research Project
- Clinical Project with Laboratory work
What is the background of the project?
There are numerous tests of olfactory function, with most of them being based on psychophysical techniques, e.g., odor identification. Many of the other available techniques have not been studied in larger sample sizes in a comparative manner. The proposed project will elucidate the genetic basis of variations in human odor perception and moreover enhance or understanding about the mechanisms creating an individual unique smeller in terms of odor sensitivity and rating.
What is the aim of the project?
This study is designed to investigate the correlation between psychophysical, electrophysiological and structural measures of olfactory function. In addition, they will receive a detailed physical examination of their nasal cavities. Background: There are numerous tests of olfactory function, with most of them being based on psychophysical techniques, e.g., odor identification. Many of the other available techniques have not been studied in larger sample sizes in a comparative manner. Thus, because these data are missing, many of the more “modern” tests (e.g., electrophysiological tests like olfactory event-related potentials, or structural measures of the olfactory bulb) have not arrived yet in routine clinical diagnostics.
What techniques and methods are used?
psychophysical and electrophysiological measures of olfactory function (olfactory threshold measures; suprathreshold measures of olfactory function; recordings of olfactory event-related potentials, stimulus-related EEG); physical examination of the nose, ears, and throat using endoscopy; structural imaging of the olfactory bulb and other olfactory eloquent structures will be performed, e.g., piriform cortex or amygdale. to be specific, participants will learn how to obtain odor thresholds using various techniques, and they will learn how to apply psychophysics to suprathreshold odor stimuli, e.g., odor discrimination and odor identification; In addition, participants will receive education in human electrophysiology, including EEG recordings, recordings of event-related potentials, analysis of the EEG in the frequency domain; further imaging techniques will be trained; this would include state-of- the-art functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging of the brain including the olfactory bulb; finally, participants will be training in basic medical techniques, e.g., investigation of the nasal and oral cavities using endoscopy
What is the role of the student?
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
-
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
1
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
For the use of students considering participating in the project, further information can be found from the following articles and websites: https://www.uniklinikum-dresden.de/de/das-klinikum/kliniken-polikliniken-institute/hno/forschung/interdisziplinaeres-zentrum-fuer-riechen-und-schmecken/homepage-in-englisch-1/copy_of_forschungsschwerpunkte-2

PDFs available upon request at thummel@mail.zih.tu-dresden.de
Hummel T, Kobal G (2001) Olfactory event-related potentials. In: Simon SA, Nicolelis MAL (eds) Methods and frontiers in chemosensory research. CRC press, Boca Raton, Florida, pp. 429-464
Doty RL, Laing DG. Psychophysical measurement of human olfactory function, including odorant mixture assessment. In: Doty RL, ed. Handbook of olfaction and gustation, 2nd Ed. New York: Marcel Dekker, 2003:203-228.

Frank RA, Dulay MF, Niergarth KA, Gesteland RC. A comparison of the sniff magnitude test and the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test in children and nonnative English speakers. Physiol. Behav. 2004;81:475-480
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
No
Hours
8
Type of students accepted
This project accepts:
- Medical students
- Pre-Medical students from the American-British system
Articles
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