Traços de autismo numa população não clínica
: deteção, identificação e discriminação olfativa

Translated title of the thesis: Autism traits in a non-clinical population: detection, identification and olfactive discrimination
  • Adriana Cristina Duarte da Costa (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Introduction: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is characterized by changes in social skills, communication and behavior. In parallel, several studies have suggested processing changes in the sensory population with ASD, which seem to influence the daily life of this population. Considering the peculiarity of the ASD, it is assumed thatthere is a Broad Autism Phenotype (BAP) that has an inheritance in the general population and that one of the characteristics that it maintains is an abnormal sensory behavior. Moreover, the literature has shown that the variability in olfactory processing may be associated with individual differences. It has been found that anxiety, as an individual difference, has an impact on olfactory skills. In this study, we aimed to understand if the traits of autism and anxiety influence detection, discrimination and olfactory identification. Methods: The three olfactory dimensions, detection, discrimination and identification, were evaluated by the Sniffin´Sticks olfactory test. To characterize autism traits, we used the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ). For assessing anxiety, we used thecognitive and somatic dimensions of the trait subscale of the State Trait Inventory for Cognitive and Somatic Anxiety (STICSA) Results: The results showed that sex, somatic anxiety, as well as attention to detail, measured by the AQ subscale, were predictors ofolfactory discrimination. Conclusion: In sum, by observing the results of the present study, we can conclude that contrary to the hypotheses postulated, autism traits (attention to detail) and trait anxiety have a predictive effect only on olfactory discrimination. Future studies are suggested for the validation of this explanatory hypothesis.
Date of Award6 Jan 2020
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorMaria Vânia Silva Nunes (Supervisor) & Sandra Cristina Oliveira Soares (Co-Supervisor)


  • Olfaction
  • Discrimination
  • Autism traits
  • Anxiety


  • Mestrado em Neuropsicologia

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