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Journal of comparative physiology

, Volume 110, Issue 3, pp 287–306 | Cite as

The performance of dogs in detecting α-ionone in the vapor phase

  • D. G. Moulton
  • D. A. Marshall
Article

Summary

Concentration-response functions forα-ionone were established for four German shepherds (Figs. 3 and 4). The dogs were tested in a three choice behavioral apparatus (Fig. 2), and trained, by a restricted operant procedure, to establish an approach-avoidance discrimination between odor and air. Odorant concentrations were presented from an olfactometer calibrated by gas chromatography. Minimum detectable concentrations fell within the range 4.0×104.5–4.0×106.5 molecules/cm3. Concentration-response curves for three of the dogs show a clear double reversal in slope which is statistically significant and which divides the curve into a slowly descending upper limb, best fitted by a parabolic function, and a rapidly descending lower limb, best fitted by a cubic function (Figs. 5 and 6). There is evidence that this division might reflect a dual receptor mechanism. When performance during testing stabilized for a given concentration and the concentration was then lowered by a certain magnitude, the new performance level depended markedly on that magnitude. No evidence was found to suggest that adaptation to the test odor influenced performance. As defined by a differential threshold fraction (ΔFlow/Flow) one dog's ability to discriminate between differences in flow rate fell in the range 0.12–0.08.

Keywords

Chromatography Operant Procedure Vapor Phase Performance Level Detectable Concentration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. G. Moulton
    • 1
  • D. A. Marshall
    • 1
  1. 1.Monell Chemical Senses Center and Departments of Physiology and Animal BiologyUniversity of Pennsylvania and Veterans Administration HospitalPhiladelphiaUSA

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