Food-anticipatory activity persists after olfactory bulb ablation in the rat

Physiol Behav. 2001 Jan;72(1-2):231-5. doi: 10.1016/s0031-9384(00)00417-0.


Restricted daily food access acts as an entraining stimulus (zeitgeber) for a circadian clock, the feeding-entrainable oscillator (FEO). There are many properties of a daily meal that could potentially convey timing information to the FEO. Olfactory cues associated with feeding are one such property. In order to rule out olfaction as a necessary entraining stimulus, olfactory bulbectomized and sham-operated male Sprague--Dawley rats had access to food for 2 h each day. Food bin approach behavior was monitored as an index of food-anticipatory activity (FAA). Both groups entrained to the daily meal with an increase in feeder approach time several hours before meal onset. There were no significant differences in the timing or the amount of FAA between groups. Furthermore, FAA was maintained during 3 days of food deprivation in both groups. In accordance with previous studies, the results show that olfactory cues are not necessary for the entrainment of FAA.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cues
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology*
  • Food Deprivation / physiology
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Olfactory Bulb / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Smell / physiology