Home : Behavioral Tasks : Tasks : Olfactory Discrimination
Description: In this task mice are presented with two novel pairs of distinct odors. On each trial, one of the odors is presented at an odor port, followed by the delivery of either a sucrose or quinine solution. Mice initially sample the solution on each trial but rapidly come to withhold responding at the liquid port after the odor signal for quinine. During odor discrimination training mice are required to learn a series of 2-odor discrimination problems. Following acquisition of the odor discriminations, the mice begin reversal learning trials. During these trials the reward contingencies of one of the learned odor pairs are reversed such that the odor that formerly signaled sucrose is now paired with quinine, the odor that formerly signaled quinine is now paired with sucrose.
Purpose: This task allows for the assessment of repeated acquisition of leaning using new information in each test session, and takes advantage of the natural sensory capacities of mice in the use of olfactory information.
This task serves as a useful model for the study of cortical function and subcortical influences on behavior. This task can be modified to test various forms of simple and complex associations
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