The presence of a perceptual bias due to anxiety is well demonstrated in cognitive and sensory task for the visual and auditory modality. Event-related potentials, by their specific measurement of neural processes, have strongly contributed to this evidence. There is still no consensus as to whether such a bias exists in the chemical senses; chemosensory event-related potentials (CSERPs) are an excellent tool to clarify the heterogeneous results, especially since the Late Positive Component (LPC) may be an indicator of emotional involvement after chemosensory stimulation. This research examined the association between state and trait anxiety and the amplitude and latency of pure olfactory and mixed olfactory–trigeminal LPC. In this study, 20 healthy participants (11 women) with a mean age of 24.6 years (SD = 2.6) completed a validated questionnaire to measure anxiety (STAI), and CSERP was recorded during 40 pure olfactory stimulations (phenyl ethanol) and 40 mixed olfactory–trigeminal stimulations (eucalyptol). LPC latency and amplitude were measured at Cz (electrode located at midline central) for each participant. We observed a significant negative correlation between LPC latencies and the state anxiety scores for the mixed olfactory–trigeminal condition (r(18) = −0.513; P = 0.021), but not for the pure olfactory condition. We did not observe any effect on LPC amplitudes. This study suggests that a higher level of state anxiety is related to a more rapid perceptual electrophysiological response for mixed olfactory–trigeminal stimuli but not for pure odors.

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