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Brain, Perception, MemoryAdvances in Cognitive Neuroscience$
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Johan J. Bolhuis

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198524823

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198524823.001.0001

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Neural mechanisms of olfactory recognition memory

Neural mechanisms of olfactory recognition memory

(p.93) 6 Neural mechanisms of olfactory recognition memory
Brain, Perception, Memory

Peter A. Brennan

Eric B. Keverne

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews the neural mechanisms of olfactory learning in mice and sheep. In female mice, mating leads to a memory for the smell of the male: exposure to an alien male leads to a pregnancy block. The neural substrate for this olfactory memory is localized in the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB). Briefly, the memory is represented as increased feedback inhibition of a subpopulation of neurons in the AOB. This feedback involves increased neurotransmitter release and an enlargement of postsynaptic densities in dendro-dendritic synapses in this subpopulation of neurons. Similar neural events occur in the main olfactory bulb (MOB) during the olfactory learning that is involved in ewes' recognition of their young, and during olfactory learning in young rodents. This chapter discusses different characteristics of olfactory learning, and concludes that the underlying neural mechanisms are similar across a range of vertebrate species, as well as mollusks and insects.

Keywords:   olfactory learning, accessory olfactory bulb, dendro-dendritic synapses, main olfactory bulb, neural mechanisms

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