Sensory Research Smell and Taste Study in Children With Autism

The Sensory Science Laboratory in the Department of Food Science is conducting a research project regarding smell and taste perceptions of kids (ages 5-14) with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Children volunteers with a diagnosis of ASD should not have 1) a problem in sensory function, 2) a clinical history of major diseases, 3) a clinical history of cognitive impairment and 4) food allergies. ASD will be monitored using a survey of the Autism Spectrum Quotient – Children's version.

Children will be asked to sniff everyday odorants or consume tasting substances, and then answer questions regarding acceptability, perceived attribute intensities (sweetness, sourness, etc.) and evoked emotions. If needed, parents or guardians, or a staff member, can explain the questions.

The samples presented are commercially available in local supermarkets. During the study, the child's facial expressions will be recorded and measured. If needed, childern will be asked to wear wearable sensors on the palm and fingers to measure emotional responses during the study. In addition, parents or guardians will be asked to fill out questionnaires associated with demographics, behavioral characteristics and autism spectrum disorder. If eligible, childern will be asked to refrain from eating and drinking for one hour prior to participation.

The study is composed of two sessions on separate days. Each session takes approximately 30-40 minutes. After completing both, children will receive the Amazon e-gift card ($40) as a monetary reward.

Participation is voluntary. If you consent to your child participating, either you or your child may withdraw at any time without giving a reason and without any academic penalty. The decision to withdraw brings no negative consequences. For any children not eligible for this study protocol, data submitted will be destroyed.

If both your child and you are interested, please follow the link to register. If your child is selected, researchers will contact you via email to make a schedule.

For questions, please contact the principal investigator, Han-Seok Seo, at or 479-575-4778.


Asmita Singh, senior graduate assistant
Department of Food Science


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