Marta Zakrzewska Foto: Psykologiska institutionen/HD

Marta Zakrzewska


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Arbetar vid Psykologiska institutionen
Telefon 08-16 46 01
Besöksadress Frescati hagväg 9
Rum 218
Postadress Psykologiska institutionen 106 91 Stockholm

Om mig

My PhD project is focused on the electrophysiological correlates of the relationship between the behavioral immune system (BIS) and social attitudes to outgroups. It aims to investigate the link between prejudice and pathogen avoidance mechanism focusing on the role played by odors and odor disgust (specifically: body odor disgust). Studies within thesis will use electroencephalography to determine the contribution of language and affective components to BIS-related prejudice.


I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas
  • 2017. Jonas K. Olofsson (et al.). Journal Simulation & Gaming 48 (4), 455-479

    Research Problem: The purpose of this research synthesis is to identify new opportunities for smell-enabled games based upon current olfactory research, and to present early game concepts that have emerged from our empirical assessments.

    Literature Review: We briefly summarize key projects in the history of scent technologies for film and media. Human-Computer Interaction researchers have also explored a number of uses for scent delivery in interactive digital media. Recent developments in olfactory psychology and neuroscience research suggest that a fruitful avenue for exploration is to develop learning games that expand olfactory capacity.

    Methodology: We have conducted two studies of computer-based perceptual and cognitive olfactory tasks. 

    1. Mixture perception experiment: We designed a perceptual experiment where the task was to correctly estimate the intensity of odor components in a blend of coffee and tea. Blended odors were presented to 10 healthy adults by means of a computer-controlled olfactometer. Following each stimulation, the participant used a computer interface to estimate the intensity of components of the blend.

    2. Event-based memory experiment: We have developed a digital olfactory version of the children’s game “Memory.” The game interface consists of 32 white squares that are presented in a grid pattern on the screen and that, when participants click on them, triggers the release of one of eight possible smells from the olfactometer. Fifteen healthy adult participants were tested in 10 laboratory sessions distributed over three weeks.

    Results and Conclusions: Our empirical results suggest that smell training through learning games holds promise as a means of improving cognitive function. The results of our event-based memory experiment suggest that both olfactory and visual memory capacities might have benefitted from olfactory game training. The results of our mixture perception experiment indicate that binary odor mixtures might provide a suitable starting point for perceptual training, and we suggest that a smell-enabled game might include adaptive difficulty by progressively introducing more complex mixtures. We have used event-based memory and mixture perception as “olfactory targets” for game mechanic development, and present early design concepts for “Smelly Genes” and “Scenter.” Finally, we discuss future directions and challenges for this new, interdisciplinary research topic.

  • 2017. Katarzyna Giertuga (et al.). Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 11

    Numerous studies indicate that attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is related to some developmental trends, as its symptoms change widely over time. Nevertheless, the etiology of this phenomenon remains ambiguous. There is a disagreement whether ADHD is related to deviations in brain development or to a delay in brain maturation. The model of deviated brain development suggests that the ADHD brain matures in a fundamentally different way, and does not reach normal maturity at any developmental stage. On the contrary, the delayed brain maturation model assumes that the ADHD brain indeed matures in a different, delayed way in comparison to healthy age-matched controls, yet eventually reaches proper maturation. We investigated age-related changes in resting-state EEG activity to find evidence to support one of the alternative models. A total of 141 children and teenagers participated in the study; 67 diagnosed with ADHD and 74 healthy controls. The absolute power of delta, theta, alpha, and beta frequency bands was analyzed. We observed a significant developmental pattern of decreasing absolute EEG power in both groups. Nonetheless, ADHD was characterized by consistently lower absolute EGG power, mostly in the theta frequency band, in comparison to healthy controls. Our results are in line with the deviant brain maturation theory of ADHD, as the observed effects of age-related changes in EEG power are parallel but different in the two groups.

  • 2018. Elmeri Syrjänen (et al.). Frontiers in Psychology 9

    Successful social interaction relies on the accurate decoding of other peoples' emotional signals, and their contextual integration. However, little is known about how contextual odors may lead to modulation of cortical processing in response to facial expressions. We investigated how unpleasant and pleasant contextual background odors affected emotion perception and cortical event-related potential (ERP) responses to pictures of faces expressing happy, neutral and disgusted facial expressions. Faces were, regardless of expression, rated more positively in the pleasant odor condition and more negatively in the unpleasant odor condition. Faces were overall rated as more emotionally arousing in the presence of an odor, irrespective of its valence. Contextual odors also interacted with facial expressions, such that happy faces were rated as especially non-arousing in the unpleasant odor condition. The early, face-sensitive N170 ERP component also displayed an interaction effect. Here, disgusted faces were affected by the odor context such that the N170 revealed a relatively larger negativity in the context of a pleasant odor compared with an unpleasant odor. There were no odor effects on the responses to faces in other measured ERP components (P1, VPP, P2, and LPP). These results suggest that odors bias socioemotional perception early stages of the visual processing stream. However, effects may vary across emotional expressions and measurements.

Visa alla publikationer av Marta Zakrzewska vid Stockholms universitet

Senast uppdaterad: 15 november 2018

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