In mammals, access of odor molecules to the olfactory receptor neurons is controlled by respiratory activity. Thus, anesthetized, freely breathing rats were used to record from the olfactory mucosa in the intact nasal cavity (electroolfactogram or EOG) so as to study global response characteristics to odor stimuli. During alternation of the inspiratory phases of odor sampling and expiratory phases, the response was a succession of individual EOG events synchronized with respiration. These were characterized by a steep decrease that started approximately 100-150 ms after the beginning of inhalation, reached its maximum at the transition between inspiration and expiration and was followed by a slower rise until the next inhalation. They were greater during the first respiratory cycles following odor stimulation onset. Thereafter their amplitudes decreased throughout odor delivery, but a significant EOG signal was still present at the end of short (10 s) and long (60 s) odor presentations. Amplitude increased with odor concentration, but much less than expected from concentration changes. Lastly, for some odors EOG responses persisted well beyond the end of stimulation. These results are in agreement with the respiratory synchronization of mitral cell activities observed during short odor presentations and long duration odor exposures. They underline again the importance of taking into account the respiratory activity in studies on the functioning of the olfactory system.