The sniff magnitude test (SMT) is a reliable and rapid clinical test of olfactory function that is minimally dependent on cognitive and linguistic abilities. In this study, we compared performance on the SMT and University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT) in samples of children and nonnative English speakers. Previous research has shown that these populations perform poorly on the UPSIT as compared with young, healthy U.S. adults. Such performance differences may reflect variations in memory/cognition and language/culture rather than olfactory abilities. The UPSIT scores of children and of Indian and Chinese graduate students were found to be lower than those of young U.S. adults. By contrast, these groups did not perform more poorly than U.S. adults did on the SMT. The results are consistent with findings from our studies, with the elderly showing that performance on the UPSIT, but not the SMT, is significantly correlated with measures of memory, language and other cognitive abilities. The findings highlight the utility of the SMT when evaluating the olfactory ability of the very young, older adults and people with diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds.
- Language and olfactory assessment
- Smell loss
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Behavioral Neuroscience
- Physiology (medical)