Odor Pleasantness Modulates Functional Connectivity in the Olfactory Hedonic Processing Network

Veit Frederik Kepler, Manuel S. Seet, Junji Hamano, Mariana Saba, Nitish V. Thakor, Stavros I. Dimitriadis, Andrei Dragomir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Olfactory hedonic evaluation is the primary dimension of olfactory perception and thus central to our sense of smell. It involves complex interactions between brain regions associated with sensory, affective and reward processing. Despite a recent increase in interest, several aspects of olfactory hedonic evaluation remain ambiguous: uncertainty surrounds the communication between, and interaction among, brain areas during hedonic evaluation of olfactory stimuli with different levels of pleasantness, as well as the corresponding supporting oscillatory mechanisms. In our study we investigated changes in functional interactions among brain areas in response to odor stimuli using electroencephalography (EEG). To this goal, functional connectivity networks were estimated based on phase synchronization between EEG signals using the weighted phase lag index (wPLI). Graph theoretic metrics were subsequently used to quantify the resulting changes in functional connectivity of relevant brain regions involved in olfactory hedonic evaluation. Our results indicate that odor stimuli of different hedonic values evoke significantly different interaction patterns among brain regions within the olfactory cortex, as well as in the anterior cingulate and orbitofrontal cortices. Furthermore, significant hemispheric laterality effects have been observed in the prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices, specifically in the beta ((13–30) Hz) and gamma ((30–40) Hz) frequency bands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1408
JournalBrain Sciences
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • brain connectivity
  • electroencephalography
  • hedonic evaluation
  • lateralization
  • olfaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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