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Maria Larsson


Lab Members
Current Research Topics
Administrative Assignments
Book Chapters
Selected Articles

Our research is oriented towards cognitive functioning, and then in particular memory functions. In particular, we are studying how higher order olfactory functions (e.g., episodic odor memory, odor identification) changes over the life span and how neurodegenerative disorders and genetic status may affect olfactory processing.

Other projects focus on the olfactory evoked autobiographical memories and how memory representations evoked by odors may differ from information triggered by visual or verbal cues. The research topics are explored by traditional behavioral measurements in combination with brain activation studies (PET and EEG).

Lab Members (Olfactory and Cognitive Research Group)

Artin Arshamian, PhD
Stina Cornell Kärnekull, PhD Student
Fredrik Jönsson, Associate Professor
Jonas Olofsson, Associate Professor
Andrea Niman, PhD Student
Ingrid Stanciu, PhD Student

Current Research Topics

I: Autobiographical Odor Memory - with Artin Arshamian, and Johan Willander.

II: The ApoE gene, Pre-clinical Dementia and Olfactory Processing - with Jonas Olofsson, Steven Nordin, Umeå university, and Lars-Göran Nilsson, Stockholm University.

III: Modelling Olfactory Forgetting - with Stina Cornell Kärnekull and Fredrik Jönsson, Associate Professor, Stockholm University.

IV: D2 Receptor Functions and Olfactory Functions - with Lars Farde, Professor, KI, and Lars Bäckman, Professor, Aging Research Center.

V: The BDNF gene in Memory and Olfactory Processing - with Margareta Hedner and Lars-Göran Nilsson, Professor, Stockholm University.

Administrative Assignments


Olofsson, Jonas K.. Odor identification in aging and dementia: Influences of cognition and the ApoE gene. Doctoral dissertation, Department of Psychology, Umeå University, 2008.

Full information in DiVA.


Willander, Johan. Autobiographical Odor Memory. Doctoral dissertation, Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, 2007. ISBN: 978-91-7155-494-9.

Full information in DiVA.

Everyday memory edited by Svein Magnussen and Tore Helstrup

”This book presents an authoritative overview of memory in everyday contexts. Written by an expert team of international authors, it gathers together research on some of the more neglected but revealing areas of memory, to provide a comprehensive overview of remembering in real life situations. Contributions from leading experts deal with a variety of important questions concerning everyday memory, from under-researched areas such as memory for odours, to more well known areas, like collective memory.”

Everyday Memory
Larsson, Maria. Odor and source remembering in adulthood and aging: Influences of semantic activation and item richness. Doctoral Dissertation, Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Family Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine, Karolinska Institute; and Stockholm Gerontology Research Center, Section of Psychology, 1996. ISBN 91-628-2324-8.


Click the book to download the dissertation in pdf-format <300kb

Book Chapters

Larsson, M., & Melinder, A. (2007). Underestimated sensations: Everyday odor memory in clinical and forensic settings. In T. Hellstrup & S. Magnussen (Eds.). Everyday Memory. UK, Psychological Press.

De Beni, R., Cornoldi, C., Larsson, M., Magnussen, S., & Rönnberg, J. (2007). Memory in Experts: Visual Learning, Wine Tasting, Orienteering, and Speech-Reading. In T. Helstrup & S. Magnussen (Eds.). Everyday Memory. UK: Psychological Press.

Nilsson, L.-G., & Larsson, M. (2007). Self-Referent Beliefs about Memory and Actual Performance: Relationships with Age and Sex. In T. Helstrup & S. Magnussen (Eds.). Everyday Memory. UK: Psychological Press.

Larsson, M. (2005). Smell your way back to childhood: Autobiographical odor memory. In W. Ostreng (Ed.) Synergies: Interdisciplinary Communications 2003/2004, pp. 86-89. Centre for Advanced Study.

Larsson, M., & Willander J. (2004). Luktsinnet i äldrevården. I H. Wijk (Ed) Goda Miljöer och Aktiviteter för Äldre. Studentlitteratur.

Larsson, M. (2004). Människans minne för lukt – Från aversioner till Proustianska luktminnen. I L. Öberg (Ed) Näsans Kunskap, (pp.15-27). Södertörns Högskolas Förlag.

Larsson, M. (2002). Odor memory: A memory systems approach. In C. Rouby, B. Schaal, D. Dubois, R. Gervais, A. Holley (Eds.), Olfaction,Taste, and Cognition, (pp. 231-245). Cambridge University Press.

Bäckman, L., Small, B. J., & Larsson, M. (2000). Memory. In J. G. Evans, T. F. Williams, B. L. Beattie, J.-P. Michel, & G. K. Wilcock (Eds.), Oxford Textbook of Geriatric Medicine, Vol. 2 (pp. 906-916). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bäckman, L., Small, B. J., Wahlin, Å., & Larsson, M. (2000). Cognitive functioning in late senescence. In F. I. M. Craik & T. A. Salthouse (Eds.), Handbook of cognitive aging, vol.2 (pp. 499-558). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Selected Articles

Arshamian, A., Iannilli, E., Gerber, J.C., Willander, J., Persson, J., Seo, H.-S., Hummel, T., & Larsson, M. (2013). The functional neuroanatomy of odor evoked autobiographical memories cued by odors and words. Neuropsychologia, 51(1), 123-132. [DOI]

Cornell Kärnekull, S., Jönsson, F.U., Larsson, M., & Olofsson, J.K. (2011). Affected by smells? Environmental chemical responsivity predicts odor perception. Chemical Senses, 36(7), 641-648. [DOI]

Arshamian, A., Willander, J., & Larsson, M. (2011). Olfactory awareness is positively related to odor memory. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 23(2), 220-226. [DOI]

Finkel, D., Reynolds, C.A., Larsson, M., Gatz, M., & Pedersen, N.L. (2011). Both odor identification and ApoE4 contribute to normative cognitive aging. Psychology and Aging, 26(4), 872-883. [DOI]

Hedner, M., Nilsson, L.-G., Olofsson, J. K., Bergman, O., Eriksson, E., Nyberg, L., & Larsson, M. (2010). Age-related olfactory decline is associated with the BDNF val66met polymorphism: Evidence from a population-based study. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 2, 24. [Crossref]

Hedner, M., Larsson, M., Arnold, N., Zucco, G. M., & Hummel, T. (2010). Cognitive factors in odor detection, odor discrimination, and odor identification tasks. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 32(10), 1062-1067. [DOI]

Peira, N., Golkar, A., Larsson, M., & Wiens, S. (2010). What you fear will appear: Change detection in spider fear. Experimental Psychology, 57(6), 470-475. [DOI]

Olofsson, J. K., Nordin, S., Hedner, M., Nilsson, L.-G., & Larsson, M. (2010). Odor identification impairment in carriers of ApoE4 is independent of clinical dementia. Neurobiology of Aging, 31(4), 567-577. [DOI]

Larsson, M., Hedner, M., & Olofsson, J. (2009). Differential age and sex effects in semantic recognition of odors and words. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 41(11), 1049-1053. [PDF, external link]

Larsson, M., & Willander, J. (2009). Autobiographical odor memory. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1170(1), 318-323. [DOI]

Olofsson, J.K., Rönnlund, M., Nordin, S., Nyberg, L., Nilsson, L.-G., & Larsson, M. (2009). Odor identification deficit as a predictor of five-year global cognitive change: Interactive effects with age and APOE-e4. Behavior Genetics, 39, 496-503. [DOI]

Larsson, M., Farde, L., Hummel, T., Witt, M., Erixon-Lindroth, N., & Bäckman, L. (2009). Age-related loss of olfactory sensitivity: Association to dopamine transporter binding in putamen. Neuroscience, 161, 422-426. [DOI]

Larsson, M., Öberg-Blåvarg, C., & Jönsson, F. (2009). Bad odors stick better than good ones: Olfactory qualities and episodic odor recognition. Experimental Psychology, 56, 375-380. [DOI]

Arshamian, A., Olofsson, J. K., Jönsson, F., & Larsson, M. (2008). Sniff your way to clarity: The case of olfactory imagery. Chemosensory Perception, 242-246. [PDF]

Willander, J., & Larsson, M. (2008). The mind's nose and autobiographical odor memory. Chemosensory Perception, 1, 210-215.

Willander, J., & Larsson, M. (2007). Olfaction and emotion: The case of autobiographical memory. Memory & Cognition, 35, 1659-1663.

Airaksinen, E., Wahlin, Å., Forsell, Y., & Larsson, M. (2007). Low episodic memory as a premorbid marker of depression: Evidence from a three-year follow-up. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 115, 458-465.

Konstantinidis, I., Hummel, T., & Larsson, M. (2006). Identification of unpleasant odors is independent of age. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 21, 615-621.

Airaksinen, E., Forsell, Y, & Larsson, M., & Wahlin, Å. (2006). Cognitive and social functioning in recovery from depression: Results from a population-based three-year follow-up. Journal of Affective Disorders, 96, 107-110.

Larsson, M., Lundin, A., & Robins Wahlin, T.-B. (2006). “Olfactory functions in asymptomatic carriers of the Huntington disease mutation”. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 28, 1373-1380.

Magnussen, S., Andersson, J., Cornoldi, C., De Beni, R., Endestad, T., Goodman, G. S., Helstrup, T., Koriat, A., Larsson, M., Melinder, A., Nilsson, L-G., Rönnberg, J., & Zimmer, H. (2006). What people believe about memory. Memory, 14, 595-613.

Willander, J., & Larsson, M. (2006). Smell your way back to childhood: Autobiographical odor memory. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review.

Larsson, M., Öberg, C., & Bäckman, L. (2006). Recollective experience in odor memory: Influences of adult age and familiarity. Psychological Research, 70, 68-75. [PDF]

Lundström, J. N., Frasnelli, J., Larsson, M., & Hummel, T. (2005). Sex differentiated responses to intranasal trigeminal stimuli. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 57, 181-186.

Larsson, M., & Bäckman, L. (2005). Odor identification in old age: Demographic, sensory, and cognitive correlates. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, 12, 231-244.

Airaksinen, E., Larsson, M., & Forsell, Y. (2004). Neuropsychological functions in anxiety disorders: Evidence of episodic memory dysfunction. Journal of Psychiatric Research. [PDF]

Larsson, M., Nilsson, L.-G., Olofsson, J., & Nordin, S. (2004). Demographic and cognitive predictors of odor identification-Evidence from a population-based study. Chemical Senses, 29, 547-554. [PDF]

Airaksinen, E., Larsson, M., Lundberg, I., & Forsell, Y. (2004). Cognitive functions in depressive disorders: Evidence from a population-based study. Psychological Medicine, 34, 83-91. [PDF]

Hummel, T., Damm, M., Vent, J., Schmidt, M., Theissen, P., Larsson, M., & Klussmann, K.-P. (2003). Correlation between depth of olfactory sulcus and olfactory function. Brain Research, 975, 85-89. [PDF]

Larsson, M., Lövdén, M., & Nilsson, L.-G. (2003). Sex differences in recollective experience for olfactory and verbal information. Acta Psychologica, 112, 89-103. [PDF]

Larsson, M., Nyberg, L., Bäckman, L., & Nilsson, L.-G. (2003). Effects on episodic memory of stimulus richness, intention to learn, and extra-study repetition: Similar profiles across the adult life span. Journal of Adult Development, 10, 67-73. [PDF]

Öberg, C., Larsson, M., & Bäckman, L. (2002). Differential sex effects in olfactory functioning: The role of verbal processing. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 8, 691-698.

Finkel, D., Pedersen, N. L, & Larsson, M. (2001). Olfactory functioning and cognitive abilities: A twin study. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 56B, P226-P233. [PDF]

Savic, I., Gulyas, B., Larsson, M., & Roland, P. (2000). Olfactory functions are mediated by parallel and hierarchical processing. Neuron, 26, 735-745. [PDF]

Larsson, M., Finkel, D., & Pedersen, N. L. (2000). Odor identification: Influences of age, gender, cognition, and personality. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 55B, P304-310. [PDF]

Larsson, M., Semb, H., Winblad, B., Amberla, K., Wahlund, L.-O, & Bäckman, L. (1999). Odor identification in normal aging and early Alzheimer’s disease: Effects of retrieval support. Neuropsychology, 13, 1-7.

Larsson, M., & Bäckman, L. (1998). Semantic mediation of age related deficits in episodic recognition of common odors. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 855, 675-680.

Larsson, M., & Bäckman, L. (1998). Modality memory across the adult life span: Evidence for selective olfactory deficits. Experimental Aging Research, 24, 63-82.

Larsson, M. (1997). The influence of semantic factors in episodic recognition of common odors: A review. Chemical Senses, 22, 623-633.

Larsson, M., & Bäckman, L. (1997). Age-related differences in episodic odour recognition: The role of access to specific odour names. Memory, 5, 361-378.

Larsson, M., & Bäckman, L. (1994). Did I unplug the iron or did only look at it? External source monitoring across the adult life span. Aging: Clinical and Experimental Research, 6, 35-42.

Larsson, M., & Bäckman, L. (1993). Semantic activation and episodic odor recognition in young and older adults. Psychology and Aging, 8, 582-588.

Larsson's abstracts in the Annual Report database.

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