Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 34, Issue 7, pp 928–942 | Cite as

Neural Computations with Mammalian Infochemicals

Review Article


The mammalian olfactory system is the most sensitive and discriminating molecular recognition system known, able to detect a few dozen critical molecules in the face of strong and variable background odorants. The set of information-containing volatile molecules used to transmit information within and between mammalian species shows both great molecular and informational diversity. Chemosensory neuroscientists that apply traditional reductionist methods to the analysis of information processing and computational principles in the olfactory system find great value in understanding the ecological and ethological context in which mammalian olfactory communication occurs. This review highlights a subset of the molecular armamentarium and information transmissions relevant to understanding the uses of olfactory communication by mammals in an ecological context.


Olfaction Information processing Odor learning Pheromones Scent marking Olfactory bulb Piriform cortex Chemical signaling Olfactory models Olfactory computation Active sampling Receptor mapping Neural information processing 





accessory olfactory bulb


cornu ammonis field 1


cornu ammonis field 3


cellular-Finkel osteogenic sarcoma


early growth response protein 1


functional magnetic resonance imaging


human lymphocyte antigen




major histocompatibility complex


main olfactory bulb


main olfactory epithelium






olfactory receptor neuron


vomeronasal organ


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Monell Chemical Senses CenterPhiladelphiaUSA

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