Magnetic resonance lmaging of odor associated irritant effects: Multimodal objectification of the prediction of irritant effects in susceptible persons, and their possible influence on occupational risks and work performance

Project No. FF-FP 440




The distraction effect meaning that the mere perception of an odor may distract susceptible persons from their current work task, has been set as an additional adverse effect of odor and irritants. Furthermore, studies using imaging techniques provide evidence for the underlying central processes. With the help of a nocebo we examine to what extent susceptible persons are more distractible by substances with an odor and irritant component and are therefore impaired in their ability to perform a working memory task. Preventing the risk of irritation and nuisance due to chemical agents are of central importance to the German Social Accident Insurance and the need for adequate research remains to expand the knowledge about the impairment of performance in occupational settings, and to utilize this knowledge for prevention (e.g. workplace design, information on agents).


For this project, we designed a single-center, single-blind prospective cross-sectional study with one patient and one healthy control group. We assess functional connectivity and the neurochemical milieu of the brain in stimulusprocessing areas, quantify pain perception and nerve fiber distributions of the cornea of the eye and test memory performance as well as neuronal processing with and without nocebo exposure. ln addition, we collect personality traits using questionnaires, Statistics comprise group comparisons between all collected parameters by means of multifactorial ANOVA; Pearson's correlation coefficients test the quantitative relationships.

Last Update:

22 May 2020


Financed by:
  • Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung e. V. (DGUV)
Research institution(s):
  • BG-Universitätsklinikum Bergmannsheil Bochum

-cross sectoral-

Type of hazard:

work-related health hazards, dangerous substances


load, working environment (load, hazards, exposure, risks)

Description, key words:

odor associated irritant effect, susceptibility