Olfactory memory is especially persistent. The current study explored whether this applies to a form of perceptual learning, in which experience of an odor mixture results in greater judged similarity between its elements. Experiment 1 A contrasted 2 forms of interference procedure, 'compound' (mixture AW, followed by presentation of new mixtures each containing 1 of its elements, AX and OW) and 'elemental' (mixture CY, followed by presentation of its elements C and Y) against a non exposed control. Learning was evident in both interference conditions to the same degree, relative to the control. Experiment 1 B established that the interference conditions did not significantly differ from uninterfered paired controls. Experiment 2 compared the 'compound' procedure with 2 exposed control conditions and assessed whether participants had acquired the interfering mixtures too (AX and OY). Learning was evident in the 'compound' treated pair (AW) and also for the mixtures AX and OW that made up the interfering compounds. These results are problematic for configural Elxplanations and a new formulation is suggested.
Stevenson, Richard J.; Case, Trevor I.; and Tomiczek, Caroline
"Resistance to Interference of Olfactory Perceptual Learning,"
The Psychological Record: Vol. 57
, Article 8.
Available at: http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/tpr/vol57/iss1/8