individuals may have abused drugs, smoked, sustained headinjuries, and have engaged in lifestyles that risk infectiousdisease; all of which may compromise brain function and/or the integrity of the olfactory system. One way to surmount these type of confounds is to study psychopathy in the com-munity. Unfortunately, relatively few studies of OFC function(imaging/neuropsychological)havebeenconductedwithsuchnon-incarcerated, PCL-R-defined psychopaths, and no olfac-tory studies have as yet been published. Evidence for OFCdysfunctionincommunity-dwellingpsychopaths is mixed but generally supportive. Performance on the Iowa GamblingTask, a measure sensitive to OFC dysfunction, has providedsome favorable findings, with riskier decisions and poorer capacity to learn from errors in individuals scoring higher in psychopathic traits (Belmore and Quinsey1994; Mahmut et al.2008; van Honk et al.2002). Similar findings have also
been observed on other neuropsychological tests sensitive toOFC function (Dinn and Harris2000). Two out of the threestructural MRI studies by Raine and colleagues withcommunity-dwelling (PCL-R-defined) psychopaths havefound evidence of prefrontal cortex (i.e., including the OFC)dysfunction within this population (Raine et al.2000; Yang et al.2005). These findings then would lead one to suggest that olfactory deficits should be present in individuals who scorehigher in psychopathic traits. Specifically, we hypothesizedthatsuch individuals shoulddemonstrate poorerodordiscrim-ination ability, poorer odor identification ability, but with anintact capacity to detect odors. As females have demonstratedsuperiorolfactoryabilitiescomparedtomales(e.g.,Stevensonand Mahmut 2011) and higher degrees of empathy are asso-ciated with increased olfactory abilities (e.g., Spinella2002),we predicted that the relationship between psychopathy andolfactory performance would persist after controlling for theseother variables.
Materials and Methods
ParticipantsA total of 79 participants (40 females, mean age 19 years; 39males, mean age 21 years) completed the study for coursecredit. The ethical aspects of this study were approved byMacquarie University
s Ethics Committee and informed con-sent was obtained from each participant. One male participant was excluded from all analyses due to having a criminalconviction, and two participants (one male, one female) wereexcluded due to an inconsistent pattern of performance on theodorthresholdtask.Priortothecommencementofthestudy,a brief, standardized interview was conducted to enquire about (for example) previous craniofacial surgery/injury, current/ previous smoking status, and current health. All participantswere deemed eligible to complete the current study.Materials
Sticks (Hummel et al.1997) comprised threetests each designed to measure a distinct olfactory ability:odor threshold, odor identification, and odor discrimination.Each odor is contained within an individual pen and each of the three tests has a unique set of pens. The experimenter presented all pens (i.e., odors) bilaterally approximately2 cm beneath the nose. To reduce the chance of adaptationand fatigue, one of the personality measures was completed between each of the three Sniffin
tests. Each olfac-tory test is described in more detail below.
Olfactory Threshold Test
The olfactory threshold test was used to measure olfactoryacuity and consists of 16 levels that differ in concentration of
weakest). Each level consistsof a triplet of pens (one target containing
-butanol and twoodorless distracter pens) presented in a randomized order.Before the test begins, the participants are familiarized withthe
-butanol odor. On each trial, the participants are asked toselect the target pen from the distracter pens while blind-folded. There was an interval of 5 s between the presentationof each odor within a trial and an interval of 30 s betweentrials. A staircase procedure was used to present the odors tothe participants with progressively higher concentrations of
butanol. This was continued until the target odor pen wascorrectly identified, which then triggered a reversal of thestaircase downwards (i.e., to lower concentrations). Incorrect guesses thenalsotriggered a reversalofthe staircase upwards,untilthetargetwascorrectlyselected.Thethresholdscorewasthe mean of the last three of five reversals in the staircase.
Odor Identification Test
The identification test measured a participant
s ability toidentify common odors (e.g., orange, coffee, and leather)and consisted of 16 individual odor pens presented in thesame order. The participants are asked to select the correct odor name from a list of four (i.e., three names are dis-tracters) and each trial is separated by a 30-s interval. Theodor identification score was calculated by summing thecorrect responses with the highest possible score being 16.
Odor Discrimination Test
The discrimination test measured a participant
s ability todiscriminate between odors. The test consists of 16 trials,each with a triplet of pens: two containing the same odor,and a third containing a different odor. There was an interval