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Physiol Behav. 1999 Jun;66(4):701-7.

Generalization between binary odor mixtures and their components in the rat.

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Department of Psychology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 01238, USA.


We have adopted a conditioning paradigm to investigate generalization between odor mixtures and components. Rats were conditioned to find a reward buried in odor-scented cups. The conditioned odor was either a mixture (O1 + O2) or a pure component (O1). Once they learned the task to criterion, they were tested in random sequence for response to that O1, O1 + O2 and to an unrelated odor (O3). Generalization was consistently the strongest from O1 to O1 + O2 or from O1 + O2 to O1. Furthermore. the degree of generalization depended on the odorants used as O1, O2, and O3. This latter finding in a particular indicates that this assay can be used to assess properties of mixtures, which could arise at either peripheral or more central locations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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