gms | German Medical Science

83rd Annual Meeting of the German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

16.05. - 20.05.2012, Mainz

Agreeable smellers and sensitive neurotics –correlations among personality traits and sensory thresholds

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author Thomas Hummel - Universitäts-HNO-Klinik Dresden, Dresden
  • Ilona Croy - Universitäts-HNO-Klinik, Dresden
  • Maria Spingborn - Universitäts-HNO-Klinik, Dresden
  • Jörn Lötsch - pharmazentrum frankfurt/ZAFES, Institute of Clinical Pharmacology, Goethe-Univer, Frankfurt/M.
  • Amy Johnston - Eskitis Institute of Cell and Molecular Therapies, Griffith University, Nathan, Australia

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Heilkunde, Kopf- und Hals-Chirurgie. 83. Jahresversammlung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Heilkunde, Kopf- und Hals-Chirurgie. Mainz, 16.-20.05.2012. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2012. Doc12hnod650

doi: 10.3205/12hnod650, urn:nbn:de:0183-12hnod6504

Published: April 4, 2012

© 2012 Hummel et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



The correlations among personality traits and a wide range of sensory thresholds was examined. Participants (N=124) completed a personality inventory (NEO-FFI) and underwent assessment of olfactory, trigeminal, tactile and gustatory detection thresholds, as well as examination of trigeminal and tactile pain thresholds. Significantly enhanced odor sensitivity in socially agreeable people, significantly enhanced trigeminal sensitivity in neurotic subjects, and a tendency for enhanced pain tolerance in highly conscientious participants have been found. It is postulated that varied sensory processing influenced perception of the environment; especially of socially relevant or potentially dangerous stimuli and thus, varied with personality.