Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has become the leading method for measuring the human brain response to sensory stimuli. However, olfaction fMRI lags behind vision and audition fMRI for 2 primary reasons: First, the olfactory brain areas are particularly susceptible to imaging artifacts, and second, the olfactory stimulus is particularly difficult to control in the fMRI environment. A component of the latter is related to the odorant delivery human–machine interface, namely the point where odorants exit the dispensing apparatus to reach at the nose. Previous approaches relied on either nasal cannulas or nasal masks, each associated with particular drawbacks and discomforts. Here, we provide detailed descriptions and instructions for transforming the MRI head-coil into an olfactory microenvironment, or odor canopy, where odorants can be switched on and off in less than 150 ms without cannula or mask. In a proof-of-concept experiment, we demonstrate that odor canopy provides for clearly dissociable odorant presence and absence, with no nonolfactory cues. Moreover, we find that odor canopy is rated more comfortable than nasal mask, and we demonstrate that using odor canopy in the fMRI generates a typical olfactory brain response. We conclude in recommending this approach for minimized discomfort in fMRI of olfaction.

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