Behavioral Assays in the Study of Olfaction: A Practical Guide

  • Fabio Papes
  • Thiago S. Nakahara
  • Antonio P. Camargo
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1820)


Olfaction is a fundamental sense in most animal species. In mammals, the olfactory system comprises several subpopulations of sensory neurons located throughout the nasal cavity, which detect a variety of chemostimuli, including odorants, intraspecies and interspecies chemical communication cues. Some of these compounds are important for regulating innate and learned behaviors, and endocrine changes in response to other animals in the environment. With a particular focus on laboratory rodent species, this chapter provides a comprehensive description of the most important behavioral assays used for studying the olfactory system, and is meant to be a practical guide for those who study olfaction-mediated behaviors or who have an interest in deciphering the molecular, cellular, or neural mechanisms through which the sense of smell controls the generation of adaptive behavioral outputs.

Key words

Olfactory behavior Innate behavior Pheromone Odorant 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fabio Papes
    • 1
  • Thiago S. Nakahara
    • 1
    • 2
  • Antonio P. Camargo
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Genetics and Evolution, Institute of BiologyUniversity of CampinasCampinasBrazil
  2. 2.Graduate Program in Genetics and Molecular Biology, Institute of BiologyUniversity of CampinasCampinasBrazil

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