Basic Study on the Effect of Scent on Arousal Level Using Multi-Channel Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (MNIRS)

Basic Study on the Effect of Scent on Arousal Level Using Multi-Channel Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (MNIRS)

Shun’ichi Doi (Faculty of Engineering, Kagawa University, Japan), Takahiro Wada (Faculty of Engineering, Kagawa University, Japan), Eiji Kobayashi (Faculty of Medicine, Kagawa University, Japan), Masayuki Karaki (Faculty of Medicine, Kagawa University, Japan) and Nozomu Mori (Faculty of Medicine, Kagawa University, Japan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-559-9.ch023
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As a result, it is verified that not only characteristics of the scent but also the driver’s preference and subjective judgment of scent changes affect on the each driving performance. The brain activity change by olfactory stimulation and the brain blood flow change by other stimulation were also investigated. The effects of the functional brain imaging of olfactory activity were measured and the comfortable scent for the individual subject was verified to be effective for maintaining the arousal level.
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Experimental Procedure

1. Experiment 1 on Driving Simulator

In this study, two kinds of experiments were executed, as described in Table 1. In experiment 1, the subject drove along a straight road for 20 minutes at 60 km/h using a driving simulator (DS) (DS-2000, Mitsubishi Precision co. Ltd) (Figure 1). Under this condition, almost all subjects tended to become somnolent. We attempted to maintain wakefulness by supplying scents to the subject. Four kinds of scents were used in the experiments, which were selected individually using a preliminary questionnaire. The generator of the scents was ‘Aromax silent’ (Air-aroma Inc). To remove lingering scents, the subject used a nasal cannula. When the subject became sleepy, as indicated by the vehicle behavior on the DS and watching the overstep of the sideline, the experimenter supplied a scent for 15 seconds.

Table 1.
Experimental overview
Experiment 1:
driving simulator
Experiment 2:
seated position
TaskSimulated drive
(Straight road)
with eye-mask
Test duration20 minutes10 minutes 45 seconds
Measurement itemsSubjective judgment・Electrocardiogram
Finger plethysmograph・Lateral displacement on DSElectroencephalogram
Blood flow
Subjects11(Sub A~K)
Average age 23.0
10 males:1 female
5 (Sub. A~E)
Average age 22.4
4 males:1 female
Supplying TimingFor a duration of 15 seconds after the vehicle in the DS oversteps the lateral lineCyclic (supplied for 15 seconds and shutoff for 45 seconds)
ScentFour scents were selected through subjective judgment
Figure 1.

Driving simulator


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