Mats J. Olsson's research group

Human olfaction

The overall aims of Mats J. Olssons groups research is to understand how we perceive different odorants, and how these characteristics feed into later cognitive stages of processing, such as memory and metacognition. Moreover, Mats J. Olssons group investigate how exposure to body odor affect our mood, behavior, and physiology.

Research projects

  • How are odorous substances integrated perceptually?
  • What can body odor communicate?

Selected publications

71. Juran, SA., A Tognetti, J Lundström, L Kumar, RJ Stevenson, M. Lekander, Olsson, MJ. Disgusting odors trigger the oral immune system. Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health (In press).

70. Lundström, J.N., Iravani, B., Peter, MG., Arshamian, A., Olsson, MJ., & Hummel, T. (2021). Acquired olfactory loss alters functional connectivity and morphology. Scientific Reports, 11: 16422.

69. Niemi, M., Skelton, A., Noone, K., and Olsson, M. J. (2021). Lockdown measures which reduced greenhouse gas emissions with little negative impact on quality of life. Earth’s Future, 9(5), e2020EF001909

68. Tognetti, A, Sarolidou, G, Lasselin, J, Lekander, M., Olsson, M.J. & Lundström, J.N. (2021). Acute systemic experimental inflammation does not reduce human odor identification performance. Chemical Senses.

67. Hansson, L.S., Axelsson, J., Petrovic, P., Paues Göranson, S., Olsson, M.J., Lekander, M., and Lasselin, J., Regulation of emotions during experimental endotoxemia: a pilot study, Brain, Behavior, and Immunity (2021), doi:

65. Sarolidou G, Tognetti A, Lasselin J, Regenbogen C, Lundström JN, Kimball BA, Garke M, Lekander M, Axelsson J and Olsson MJ (2020) Olfactory Communication of Sickness Cues in Respiratory Infection. Front. Psychol. 11:1004.

65. Lorentzen, J. C., Juran, S. A., Ernstgård, L., Olsson, M. J., & Johanson, G. (2020). Chloroanisoles and Chlorophenols Explain Mold Odor but Their Impact on the Swedish Population Is Attributed to Dampness and Mold. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 17, 930.  https://doi:10.3390/ijerph17030930

 64. Sarolidou, G., Axelsson, J., Kimball, B.A., Sundelin, T., RegenbogenC., Lundström, J.N., Lekander, M. & Olsson, M.J. (2020). People expressing olfactory and visual cues of disease are less liked. Phil. Trans of Royal Soc. B. 375: 20190272.

63. Lasselin, J., Sundelin, T., Wayne, P.M., Olsson, M.J., Paues Göranson, S., Axelsson, J., Lekander, M. (In press). Biological motion during inflammation in humans. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity doi:

62. Peter MG, Porada DK, Regenbogen C, Olsson MJ, Lundström JN. (2019). Sensory loss enhances multisensory integration performance. Cortex, 15:120. 116-130. https://doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2019.06.003. PMID: 31299497

61. Sarolidou, G., John Axelsson, Tina Sundelin, Julie Lasselin, Christina Regenbogen, Kimmo Sorjonen, Johan N. Lundström, Mats Lekander, & Mats J. Olsson. (2019). Emotional expressions of the sick face. Brain, Behavior & Immunity. 80, 286-291, August 2019, Pages 286-291

60. Lasselin, J., Michael Ingre Christina Regenbogen, Mats J Olsson, Maria Garke, Mia Brytting, Rachel Edgar, Mats Lekander, John Axelsson. (2019). Sleep during naturally occurring respiratory infections: a pilot study. Brain, Behavior and Immunity, 9, 236-243.

59. Granqvist, P., Karolina Vestbrant, Lillian Döllinger, Marco Tullio Liuzza, Mats J. Olsson, Anna Blomkvist, & Johan N. Lundström. (2019). The Scent of Security: Odor of Romantic Partner Alters Subjective Discomfort and Autonomic Stress Responses in an Adult Attachment-Dependent Manner. Physiology & Behavior. 98, 144-150.

58. Lasselin, J., Predrag Petrovic, Mats J. Olsson, Sofie Paues Göranson, Mats Lekander, Karin B. Jensen, & John Axelsson (2018). Sickness behavior is not all about the immune response: Possible roles of expectations and prediction errors in the worry of being sick. Brain, Behavior and Immunity. 74, 213-221.

57. Gordon, A.R., Kimball, K. A., Sorjonen, S., Karshikoff, B., Axelsson, J., Lekander, M., Lundström, J. N., and Olsson, M. J. (2018). Detection of inflammation via volatile cues on human urine. Chemical Senses. 43(9), 711–719.

56. Fondberg, R, Lundström, J. N., Blöchl, M., Olsson, M. J., & Seubert, J. (2018) Multisensory flavor perception: The relationship between congruency, pleasantness, and odor referral to the mouth. Appetite, 125 244-252.

55. Axelsson J, Sundelin T, Olsson MJ, Sorjonen K, Axelsson C, Lasselin J, Lekander M. (2018) Identification of acutely sick people and facial cues of sickness. Proc. R. Soc. B 285: 20172430.

54. Liuzza MT, Lindholm T, Hawley CB, Gustafsson Sendén M, Ekström I, Olsson MJ, Olofsson JK. (2018). Body odour disgust sensitivity predicts authoritarian attitudes. R. Soc. open sci.5: 171091.

53. Alves-Oliveira, Patricia, Joana Carvalho, Jacqueline Ferreira, Laura Alho, Pedro Nobre, Mats J. Olsson & Sandra C. Soares. (2018). Influence of Body Odors and Gender on Perceived Genital Arousal. 47, 661–668.

52. Lasselin, Julie & Lekander, Mats & Paues Göranson, Sofie & Olsson, Mats & Axelsson, John. (2017). Communication of Health in Experimentally Sick Men and Women: a Pilot Study. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 87. 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2017.10.024

51. Arshamian, A., Laska, M., Gordon, A. R., Norberg, M., Lahger, C., Porada, D. K., Jelvez, N., Johansson, E., Schaefer, M., Amundin, M., Melin, H, Olsson, A., Olsson, M. J., Stensmyr, M., Lundström, J. N. (2017). "A mammalian blood odor component serves as an approach-avoidance cue across phylum border - from flies to humans." Scientific Reports 7(1): 13635.

49. Marraffa, A., Lekander, M., Solsjö, P. Olsson, M. J., Lasselin, J., & Axelsson, J. (2017). Yawning, a thermoregulatory mechanism during fever? A study of yawning frequency and its predictors during experimentally induced sickness. Physiology & Behavior, 182, 27-33.

48. Regenbogen, C., Axelsson, J., Lasselin, J., Porada, D. K., Sundelin, T., Peter, M. G., Lekander, M., Lundström, J. N., & Olsson, M. J. (2017). Behavioral and neural correlates to multisensory detection of sick humans. PNAS, 114(24), 6400–6405.

47. Parma, V., Gordon, A.R., Cecchetto, C., Cavazzana, A., Lundström, J. N. & Olsson, M. J. (2017). Central Processing of Human Body Odors. In (A. Buttner, Ed.) Handbook of Odor (pp. 963-986). London, UK: Springer.

46. Henderson, A. J., Lasselin, J., Lekander, M., Olsson, M. J., Powis, S. J., Axelsson, J., & Perrett, D, I., (2017). Skin colour changes during experimentally-induced sickness. Brain Behavior & Immunity. 60, 312-318

45. Tullio Liuzza, M., Torun Lindholm, T., Hawley. C., Gustafsson Sendén, M., Ekström, I., Olsson, M. J., Larsson, M., & Olofsson. J. K. (2017). The Body Odor Disgust Scale (BODS): Development and validation of a novel olfactory disgust assessment. Chemical senses, 42(6):499-508. doi: 10.1093/chemse/bjw107.

44. Lasselin, J., Treadway, M. T., Lacourt, T.E., Anne Soop, A., Olsson, M. J., Karshikoff, B., Paues-Göranson, S., Axelsson, J., Dantzer, R. & Lekander, M. (2017). Lipopolysaccharide alters motivated behavior in a monetary reward task: a randomized trial. Neuropsychopharmacology. 42, 801–810

43. Alho, L,  Soares, S.C., Costa L.P., Pinto, E., Ferreira, J.H.T., Sorjonen, K., Silva, C.F., and Olsson, M.J. (2016). Nosewitness identification: Effects of lineup size and retention interval. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 713.

42. Juran, S. A., Lundström, J. N., Geigant, G., Kumlien, E., Fredrikson, M., Åhs F., and Olsson, M. J. (2016). Unilateral resection of the anterior medial temporal lobe impairs odor identification and valence perception. Frontiers in Psychology, 6(2015), 1-7. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.02015.

41. Regenbogen, C., Johansson, E., Andersson, P., Olsson, M. J. & Lundström, J. N. (2016). Bayesian-based integration of multisensory naturalistic perithreshold stimuli. Neuropsychologia, 88, 123-130.

40. Alho, L., Soares, S. C., Ferreira. J., Rocha, M., Silva, C. F., & Olsson M. J. (2015). Nosewitness identification: Effects of negative emotion. PLOS ONE, 10(1): e0116706.

39. Zucco, G.M., Schaal, B., Olsson, M.J. and Croy, I. (Eds.) (2014). Applied olfactory cognition. Lausanne, CH: Frontiers Media SA. (978-2-88919-343-1)

38. Zucco, G.M., Schaal, B., Olsson, M.J. and Croy, I. (2014). Applied olfactory cognition. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 873. (Editorial)

37. Olsson, M. J., Lundström, J. N., Kimball, B. A., Gordon, A. G., Karshikoff, B, Hosseini, N., Sorjonen, K., Olgart-Höglund C., Solares, C., Soop, A., Axelsson, J. & Lekander, M. (2014). The scent of disease: Human body odor contains an early chemosensory cue of sickness. Psychological Science, 25(3), 817–823.

36. Schütze, M., Negoias, S., Olsson, M. J. & Hummel, H. (2014). Perceptual and processing differences between physical and dichorhinic odor mixtures. Neuroscience, 258, 84–89

35. Miller, S.S., Gordon, A.R., Olsson, M.J., Lundström, J.N., and Dalton, P. (2013). Mind over age: Social priming and olfactory function. Chemical Senses, 38, 167–174.

34. Mitro, S., Gordon, A. R., Olsson, M.J., and Lundström, J. N. (2012). The smell of age: perception and discrimination of body odors of different ages. PLOS ONE, 7, e38110

33. Jönsson, F. U., Hedner, M., Olsson M. J. (2012). The Testing Effect as a Function of Explicit Testing Instructions and Judgments of Learning. Experimental Psychology, 9(5): 251–257.

32. Jönsson, F. U., & Olsson, M. J. (2012). Knowing what we smell. In G. M. Zucco, R. S. Herz, & B. Schaal (Eds.), Olfactory Cognition: From Perception and Memory to Environmental Odours and Neuroscience. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: John Benjamin's Publishing Company, pp. 115-136.

31.  Jönsson, F., Moeller P., & Olsson M. J. (2011) Olfactory working memory: Effects of verbalization on the 2-back task. Memory & Cognition, 39, 1023-32.

30.  Boesveldt, S., Olsson, M. J., & Lundström, J. N. (2010). Carbon chain length and the stimulus problem in olfaction. Behavioural Brain Research. 215, 110–113.

29.  Lundstrom, J. N., & Olsson, M. J. (2010). Functional Neuronal Processing of Human Body Odors, In: G. Litwack (Ed.) Special issue on Pheromones in Vitamins & Hormones, 83, 1-23.

28.  Olsson, M. J., Lundgren, E. B, Soares, S. C., & Johansson, M. (2009). Odor Memory Performance and Awareness: A Comparison to Word Memory Across Orienting Tasks and Retention Intervals. Chemosensory Perception, 2, 161–171.

27.  Brodin, M., Laska, M., & Olsson, M. J. (2009). Odor interaction between bourgeonal and its antagonist undecanal. Chemical Senses, 34, 625–630.

26.  Boyle, J. A., Djordjevic, J., Olsson, M. J., Lundström, J. N., and Marilyn Jones-Gotman, M. (2009). The Human brain distinguishes between single odorants and binary mixtures. Cerebral Cortex. 19, 66-71.

25.  Lundström, J. N., Wysocki, C. J., Olsson, M. J., Preti, G., & Yamazaki, K. (2008). Biological Basis of the Third-Cousin Crush. Science. 30 May, 1160-1161. (Letter)

24.  Lundström, J. N., Seven, S., Olsson, M. J., Schaal, B., and Hummel, T. (2006). Olfactory event-related potentials reflect individual differences in odor valence perception. Chemical Senses. 31(8), 705-711.

23.  Olsson, M. J., Lundström, J. N., Diamantopoulou, S., and Esteves, F. (2006). A putative female pheromone affects mood in men differently depending on social context. European Review of Applied Psychology. 56, 279-284.

22.  Lundström, J. N., Olsson, M. J., Schaal, B., and Hummel, T. (2006). A putative social chemosignal elicits faster cortical responses than perceptually similar odorants. NeuroImage, 30, 1340-46.

21.  Lundström, J. N. McClintock, M. K., and Olsson, M. J. (2006). Effects of reproductive state on olfactory sensitivity suggest odor specificity. Biological Psychology, 71(3), 244-247.

20.  Lundström, J. N. and Olsson, M. J. (2005). Subthreshold amounts of social odorant affect mood, but not behavior, in heterosexual women when tested by a male, but not a female, experimenter. Biological Psychology, 70, 197-204.

19.  Jönsson, F. U., & Olsson, M. J. (2005). A metamemory perspective on odor naming and identification. Chemical Senses, 30, 353-365.

18.  Jönsson, F. U., Olsson, H., and Olsson, M. J. (2005). Odor emotionality affects the confidence in odor naming. Chemical Senses, 30, 29-35.

17.  Lundström, J. N., Hummel, T., Olsson, M. J. (2003). Individual differences in sensitivity to the odor of 4,16-Androstadien-3-one. Chemical Senses. 28, 643-650.

16.  Jönsson, F. U., & Olsson, M. J. (2003). Olfactory metacognition. Chemical Senses. 28, 651-658.

15.  Lundström, J. N., Goncalves, M., Esteves, F., & Olsson, M. J. (2003). Psychological effects of 4,16-androstadien-3-one. Hormones & Behavior, 44, 395-401.

14.  Olsson, M. J. & Cain, W. S. (2003). Implicit and explicit memory for odors: Hemispheric differences. Memory & Cognition, 31, 44-50.

13.  Olsson, M. J., Faxbrink, M. & Jönsson, F. U. (2002). Repetition priming in odor memory. In C. Rouby, B. Schaal, D. Dubois, R. Gervais, & A. Holey (Eds.), Olfaction, taste, and cognition (pp. 246-260). London: Cambridge University Press.

12.  Olsson, M. J., & Fridén, M. (2001). Evidence of odor priming: Edibility judgments are primed differently between the hemispheres. Chemical Senses, 26, 117-123.

11.  Broman, D. A., Olsson, M. J. & Nordin, S. (2001). Lateralization of olfactory cognitive functions: Effects of rhinal side of stimulation. Chemical Senses, 26, 1187-1192.

10.  Olsson, M. J., & Cain, W. S. (2000). Psychometrics of odor quality discrimination: Method for threshold determination. Chemical Senses, 25, 493-499.

9.      Wise, P. M., Olsson, M. J., & Cain, W. S. (2000). Quantification of odor quality. Chemical Senses, 25, 429-443.

8.      Olsson, M. J. (1999). Implicit testing of odor memory: Instances of positive and negative repetition priming. Chemical Senses, 24, 347-350.

7.      Olsson, M. J. (1998). An integrated model of intensity and quality of odor mixtures. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 855, 837-840.

6.      Baird, J. C., Berglund, B., & Olsson, M. J. (1996). Magnitude estimation of perceived odor intensity: Empirical and theoretical properties. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 22, 244-255.

5.      Cain, W. S., Schiet, F. T., Olsson, M. J., & de Wijk, R. A. (1995). Comparison of models of odor interaction, Chemical Senses, 20, 625-637.

4.      Olsson, M. J. (1994). An interaction model for odor quality and intensity. Perception & Psychophysics, 55, 363-372.

3.      Olsson, M. J., Harder, K., & Baird, J. C. (1993). What Ekman really said. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 16, 157-158.

2.      Berglund, B., & Olsson, M. J. (1993). Odor-intensity interaction in binary and ternary mixtures. Perception & Psychophysics, 53, 475-482.

1.      Berglund, B., & Olsson, M. J. (1993). Odor intensity interaction in a binary mixture. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 19, 302-314.

Group members