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Xiaohong Denise Chen
Assistant Professor
Assistant Professor of Psychology
 
e-mail:xdchen@rice.edu
 
  • B.A. University of Chicago
  • Ph.D. Rutgers University
  • M.A. University of Chicago
 
Picture
 
Websites
 Personal website
 Denise Chen
 homepage
 homepage
 
Research Areas
 Olfaction, emotion, cognition, sensory processing
 

Research Statement

 

My research is in the area of human olfaction.  Olfaction is a phylogenetically ancient sense.  It is used by animals from sea anemone to humans, and facilitates behavior (locating food, nest, and mate, avoiding danger, communicating socially) that is critical for survival. Much progress has been made at the receptor and the olfactory bulb level in understanding the molecular biology of olfaction. Many central questions, however, remain little understood. These include the principles that give rise to conscious olfactory perception, the relationship between olfaction and other senses, and the function of olfaction in humans. My research addresses some of these issues from two approaches: 1) to examine human chemosensory communication of social information and its impact on cognition, emotion, and neural response, and 2) to use binaral rivalry as a tool to study olfactory perception and awareness.  

 
Teaching Areas
 Psychology
 
Selected Publications
 Refereed articles
 

Zhou, W. & Chen, D. (2008). Encoding human sexual chemosensory cues in the orbitofrontal and fusiform cortices. Journal of Neuroscience, 28, 14416-14421. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3148-08.2008.


(The above manuscript was featured in a February 16, 2009 Science Times article http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/17/health/17swea.html?sq=denise%20chen&st=cse&adxnnl=1&scp=1&adxnnlx=1296630131-meCdFGziCT9Uj8fQVsTr7Q.)

 
 

Zhou, W. & Chen, D. (2010). Entangled emotion and identity: Familiarity sharpens detection of chemosensorily encoded emotion.  Social Neuroscience. DOI: 10.1080/17470919.2010.523537.

 
 

Zhou, W. & Chen, D. (2009). Sociochemosensory and emotional functions: Behavioral evidence for shared mechanisms. Psychological Science,  20, 1118-1124. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2009.02413.x.

 
 

Zhou, W. & Chen, D. (2009). Binarial rivalry between the nostrils and in the cortex. Current Biology, 19, 1561-1565. DOI:10.1016/j.cub.2009.07.052.


(The above manuscript was featured in a August 27, 2009 Science Times article http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/01/science/01obnose.html?scp=1&sq=olfactory%20rivalry&st=cse.)

 
 

Zhou, W. & Chen, D. (2009). Chemosignals of fear modulate fear recognition in ambiguous facial expressions. Psychological Science, 20, 177-183. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2009.02263.x.

 
 

Zhou, W., Hou, P., Zhou, Y., & Chen, D. (2010). Reduced recruitment of orbitofrontal cortex to human social chemosensory cues in social anxiety. NeuroImage. DOI:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.12.064.

 
 

Zhou, W., Jiang, Y., Sheng, H., & Chen, D. (2010). Olfactory cues modulate visual perception in binocular rivalry. Current Biology, 20, 1356-1358. DOI:10.1016/j.cub.2010.05.059.


(The above manuscript was featured in the Research Highlights section in Nature, 2010, 466, 162, doi:10.1038/466162e.)

 
Presentations
 Invited Talks
 

"Binaral rivalry and olfactory awareness." (2010). Association of Chemoreception Sciences Annual Meeting, St. Petersburg, Florida.

 
 

"Binaral rivalry and olfactory awareness." (2009). University of Chicago, Chicago, IL.

 

 
 

"Chemosensory communication of emotion in humans." (2010). American Psychological Society Annual Meeting, Boston, MA.


[The above presentation was described in Volume 23 (4) issue of the American Psychological Society Journal Observer

http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/publications/observer/2010/july-august-10/more-than-meets-the-eye.html.]

 
 

"Encoding human sexual chemosensory cues in the orbitofrontal and fusiform cortices." (March, 2009). Keystone Symposia: The Neurobiology of Chemical Senses: Receptors and Circuits, Tahoe City, CA.

 

 
 

"Human olfaction: From behavior to the brain." (December, 2010). Beijing University, Beijing, China.

 
 

"Human olfaction: From behavior to the brain." (September, 2010). Annual Neuroscience Graduate Student Retreat, University of Texas Medical School in Houston, Houston, TX.

 
 

“Olfaction and cognitive information processing.” (April, 2009). Association of Chemoreception Sciences Annual Meeting, Sarasota, FL.

 

 
 

"Olfaction and its clinical applications." (January, 2010). Harris County Department of Education, Houston, TX.

 
 

"Scent, emotion, and awareness." (August, 2009). University of Colorado Health Science Center, Denver, CO.

 

 
 Posters
 

Ezzell, S., Chen, J., Zhou, W., Zhang, M., & Chen, D. (2010). Long-term olfactory adaptation as a result of short-term intermittent exposures to a peri-threshold odorant. The Association for Chemoreception Sciences Annual Meeting, St. Petersburg, FL.

 
 

Chen, J., Zhou, W., Zhang, M., & Chen, D. (2009). Long-term reductions of olfactory sensitivity due to short-term exposures to a peri-threshold odorant. The Association to Chemoreception Science Annual Meeting, Sarasota, FL.

 
 

Zhou, W., & Chen, D. (2009). Olfactory rivalry: Competing olfactory processing between the two nostrils and in the cortex. The Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.

 
 

Zhang, K., Zhou, W., & Chen, D. (2009). Social anxiety and reduced recruitment of orbitofrontal cortex to human social chemosensory cues. The Association to Chemoreception Science Annual Meeting, Sarasota, FL.

 
 

Zhou, W., Jiang, Y., Sheng, H., & Chen, D. (2010). The eyes see what the nose smells: Sensory modulation of olfaction by vision. The Association for Chemoreception Sciences Annual Meeting, St. Petersburg, FL.

 
 

Chen, J., Zhou, W., Chen, D. (2010). The nose smells what the eyes see: Modulation of olfactory perception by vision. The Association for Chemoreception Sciences Annual Meeting, St. Petersburg, FL. 

 
 

Zhou, W., & Chen, D. (2009). Olfactory rivalry: Competing olfactory processing between the two nostrils and in the cortex. The Association to Chemoreception Science Annual Meeting, Sarasota, FL.

 
 

Zhou, W. & Chen, D. (2009). Social anxiety and reduced recruitment of orbitofrontal cortex to human social chemosensory cues. The Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.

 
Supervised Theses & Dissertations
 Jennifer Chen, MA Binaral Rivalry in the Presence of Visual Perceptual and Semantic Influences. (2011) (Thesis Director)