Vasudevan, P. and Jayachander, S., "Comparative Study of Olfactory Stimuli Influences on Hand-Eye Co-ordinated Tasks in Operators Fatigued by Circadian Effects," SAE Technical Paper 2016-01-0141, 2016, doi:10.4271/2016-01-0141.
Several studies in the field of hedonics using subjective responses to gauge the nature and influence of odors have attempted to explain the complex psychological and chemical processes. Work on the effect of odors in alleviating driver fatigue is limited. The potential to improve road safety through non-pharmacological means such as stimulating odors is the impetus behind this paper. This is especially relevant in developing countries today with burgeoning economies such as India. Longer road trips by commercial transport vehicles with increasingly fatigued drivers and risk of accidents are being fuelled by distant producer - consumer connections. This work describes a two stage comparative study on the effects of different odors typically obtainable in India. The stages involve administration of odorants orthonsally and retronasally after the onset of circadian fatigue in test subjects. This is followed by a small cognitive exercise to evaluate hand-eye coordination. Instead of actual driving tests on public roads, this test safely and objectively gauges the effects of the odors on cognitive impairment due to circadian fatigue. In addition, details of precautions taken during the experiments to avoid pitfalls such as odor contamination by ambient atmosphere, olfactory desensitization, odorant conflicts etc. are also provided. The experimental findings and results shall present a picture of the relative effects of the various odors typically available in India on cognitive impairment due to operator fatigue and suggest future avenues of research.