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The Behavior of the Laboratory RatA Handbook with Tests$
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Ian Q. Whishaw and Bryan Kolb

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195162851

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195162851.001.0001

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(p.90) 9 Olfaction
The Behavior of the Laboratory Rat

Burton Slotnick

Heather Schellinck

Richard Brown

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the study of olfaction in rats. It argues that rats and other rodents live in an olfactory world and any attempt to understand rodent biology must take into account the importance of olfaction for social behavior, feeding, learning, and orientation in the environment. The role of odors in the control of rodent behavior has long been a primary topic in ethologically oriented studies of rat behavior, and the relatively simple tests used in these studies have served to demonstrate the influence and importance of odors. However, recent advances in odor control of learning and in the molecular biology of olfaction have required the use of more sophisticated test procedures and better control and understanding of the stimulus.

Keywords:   laboratory rats, olfactory studies, olfactometry, odor perception, social behavior

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