Participants sought for studies Would you eat this? A smell and picture rating study

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Our research group wants to increase understanding of the mechanisms that regulate our appetite, and their relationship with eating behaviours characterised by too much or too little food intake. In connection with this, we are looking for healthy individuals without an eating disorder aged 18-45 to participate in an experimental study investigating the experience of food smells.

Participants will smell and look at images of food (no food is swallowed) and report how they perceive the smell and appearance of the food. They will also complete a simple cognitive task.

Food perception consists of joint stimulation of our sense of smell and taste. The integration of these sensory impressions in the brain, and its reorganisation when we are exposed to new tastes and smells, is currently very poorly understood. It is also unclear if these processes are affected in people who have eating disorders. By examining how people with and without eating disorders react to different smells and tastes, we can increase knowledge about the mechanisms that lead to different eating behaviors. In the long run, we want to increase knowledge about eating disorders and their effect, but also help to improve understanding of the mechanisms that change eating behavior throughout life. To explore these phenomena, we would like to compare responses to sensory stimuli in people who do not suffer from an eating disorder, to two groups of participants with eating disorders: patients with anorexia and patients with binge eating disorder.

How does the study work?

First you will have to fill in a couple of questionnaires that are about your physical and mental health, and about your relationship with food and weight. We will also test your sense of smell.
The experiment contains two types of stimulus items: pictures that are presented on a computer screen, and odors that are presented directly to your nostril. You will be rating how much you want to eat these items, and how pleasant they are. You will also complete a simple cognitive task.

After completing the study, you will receive gift cards worth 150-250 sek (taxable). Study duration is estimated at 90-120 minutes and takes place at campus Solna. You should not have eaten or drunk coffee for 2 hours prior to the study. Only water is allowed. The study will be in English

Who can apply?

To participate you must:
• Identify as female
• Be 18-45 years old
• Have no history of eating disorders
• Have no neurodegenerative disorders
• Have intact sense of smell and taste
• Not be pregnant
• Not be a smoker/snus user

How to apply

Sign-up here to participate


Questions about the study can be directed to or to Androula Savva.

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Andri (Androula) Savva

Responsible researcher
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Janina Seubert

Principal investigator

Processing of personal data

Your personal data is processed for the purposes of this study in accordance with GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). The legal entity responsible for processing of your personal data is Karolinska Institutet. The Data Protection Officer can be reached at The data will be analyzed on a group level, handled confidentially and it will be stored in a secure database at Karolinska Institutet. You can terminate your participation in the study at any time.