The influence of stimulus duration on olfactory perception

PLoS One. 2021 Jun 10;16(6):e0252931. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0252931. eCollection 2021.


The duration of a stimulus plays an important role in the coding of sensory information. The role of stimulus duration is extensively studied in the tactile, visual, and auditory system. In the olfactory system, temporal properties of the stimulus are key for obtaining information when an odor is released in the environment. However, how the stimulus duration influences the odor perception is not well understood. To test this, we activated the olfactory bulbs with blue light in mice expressing channelrhodopsin in the olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) and assessed the relevance of stimulus duration on olfactory perception using foot shock associated active avoidance behavioral task on a "two-arms maze". Our behavior data demonstrate that the stimulus duration plays an important role in olfactory perception and the associated behavioral responses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Avoidance Learning / physiology
  • Channelrhodopsins / metabolism
  • Light
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Olfactory Perception / physiology*
  • Olfactory Receptor Neurons / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation / methods*
  • Time Factors


  • Channelrhodopsins