Abstract

Differences in verbal and nonverbal olfactory identification and recognition were examined among three groups with brain impairment. A left cerebrovascular accident (LCVA) group, a right CVA (RCVA) group, and a traumatic brain injury (TBI) group were compared with two nonimpaired age-matched comparison groups on olfaction identification and recognition abilities. Odors were presented to the left and right nostrils, which maximized hemispheric differences in olfactory processing. Results showed that persons with LCVA demonstrated the greatest impairment on the verbal identification of odors, while persons with RCVA showed the most impairment on the nonverbal identification of odors. Persons with TBI showed an inconsistent impairment across both verbal and nonverbal odor identification tasks. Odor recognition was impaired in both CVA groups as well. In contrast, persons with TBI performed better on the delayed odor recognition tasks. Results are discussed in relation to hemispheric differences in processing olfactory information.