Functional-anatomical studies on sperm release evoked by electrical stimulation of the olfactory tract in goldfish

Brain Res. 1984 Jan 23;291(2):241-7. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(84)91256-3.


Sperm release was evoked by electrical stimulation of the olfactory tracts in male goldfish. Thresholds as low as 5 microA were obtained using suction electrodes while slightly higher currents were necessary using metal electrodes (lowest thresholds of 15-20 microA). Several control procedures were carried out to insure that current-spread to nearby structures was not responsible for the evoked responses. Testing olfactory tract stimulation following transection of one or more divisions of the olfactory tract revealed that connections to the olfactory bulb and pathways involving the lateral olfactory tract were not necessary for the stimulation effect, whereas the medial olfactory tract appears to be both sufficient and necessary for mediation of evoked sperm release. The results are discussed with respect to possible involvement of each of the 3 known functional components constituting the medial olfactory tract: (1) secondary olfactory afferents; (2) olfactory efferents; and (3) fibers of the terminal nerve. The possibility that female sex pheromones normally influence central sperm release mechanisms via pathways in the medical olfactory tract is also considered.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping
  • Central Nervous System / physiology*
  • Cyprinidae / physiology*
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Goldfish / physiology*
  • Male
  • Olfactory Bulb / physiology
  • Olfactory Pathways / physiology*
  • Optic Nerve / physiology
  • Pheromones / physiology
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Telencephalon / physiology


  • Pheromones