Behavioral analysis of olfactory coding and computation in rodents

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2006 Aug;16(4):429-34. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2006.06.003. Epub 2006 Jul 5.


Behavioral analysis is essential to understand how the olfactory system transforms chemosensory signals into information that can be used to guide actions. Recent studies in rodents have begun to address the behavioral relevance of putative olfactory codes and computations including spatial maps, oscillatory synchrony, and evolving temporal codes. To date, these studies have failed to find support for a role of any of these mechanisms in odor discrimination. Progress calls for experiments using precise psychophysical methods in conjunction with neural recording or perturbation, in addition to ethologically minded exploration of more complex forms of odor-guided behavior.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Discrimination Learning / physiology
  • Mice
  • Olfactory Bulb / anatomy & histology
  • Olfactory Bulb / physiology*
  • Olfactory Pathways / physiology*
  • Olfactory Receptor Neurons / physiology*
  • Psychophysics / methods
  • Psychophysics / trends
  • Rats
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Rodentia / anatomy & histology
  • Rodentia / physiology*
  • Smell / physiology*