Smelling anxiety chemosignals impairs clinical performance of dental students

Despite the fact that human body odors (BO) can transfer anxiety-related signals, the impact of such signals in real-life situations is scant. Here, we tested the effects of anxiety chemosignals on the performance of dental students operating on simulation units, wearing t-shirts imbued with human sweat and masked with eugenol. Twenty-four young adults (17F) donated their BO in two sessions (Anxiety and Rest). Twenty-four sex- and age-matched, normosmic 3rd year dental students performed three dental procedures while smelling Masked Anxiety BO (mABO), Masked Rest BO (mRBO) or masker alone. The odor conditions could not be perceptually distinguished, yet when exposed to the mABO, the students’ performance was significantly worse than their performance under the exposure of mMBO and masker. Findings call for a careful evaluation of the anxiety-inducing effects of BO in performance-related tasks and provide the first ecological evaluation of human anxiety chemosignal communication.


Intern godkjenning - Ja, søknad godkjent

Godkjent av: Natalia Andronova


Preet Bano Singh

Ansvarlig enhet

Institutt for klinisk odontologi


  • Alix Young Vik
  • Valentina Parma (SISSA, Italia)
  • Synnøve Lind (UiO, masterstudent)
  • Marie Cathinka Birkenes Leegaard (UiO, masterstudent)


  • Start: september 2017
  • Slutt: desember 2018


  • Studentprosjekt – Bachelor-, master- eller spesialistoppgave
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