What is an Olfactometer?
The Olfactometer is an odor-delivery device that is capable of supplying temporally precise and fixed concentrations of odors to human subjects. In our lab, it is computer controlled, coupled to respiration and can be used for EEG and behavioral analysis of odor response.
We've had several tries at building olfactometers in the lab here. Most temporally precise olfactometers are expensive and difficult to construct even though they are crucial to many types of olfactory research. Our newest model olfactometer is accurate, safe, reliable, and robust and can be easily constructed using "off-the-shelf" parts. The device is easy to build and costs under $1000. We hope that the availability of this device will lead to more investigators doing olfactory research and contributing to the literature.
In short, the 2012 olfactometer is:
- Robust - mechanically and functionally stable despite daily use
- Accurate - able to deliver odors with known and reliable transit (rise) times as well as consistent concentrations and little contamination
- Easy to construct - needing only hand tools and "off-the-shelf" parts
- Inexpensive - under $1000 (USD)
- Computer Programmable - controllable by LabView, MATLAB, and EPrime
- Extensible - allows for enhancements that provide new capabilities
Check out the 2003 olfactometer
Check out the 2012 olfactometer