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Chem Senses. 2005 Feb;30(2):171-5.

The number of functional olfactory receptor genes and the relative size of olfactory brain structures are poor predictors of olfactory discrimination performance with enantiomers.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Psychology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Goethestrasse 31, D-80336 Munich, Germany. Matthias.Laska@med.uni-muenchen.de

Abstract

The ability of four squirrel monkeys and three pigtail macaques to distinguish between nine enantiomeric odor pairs sharing an isopropenyl group at the chiral center was investigated in terms of a conditioning paradigm. All animals from both species were able to discriminate between the optical isomers of limonene, carvone, dihydrocarvone, dihydrocarveole and dihydrocarvyl acetate, whereas they failed to distinguish between the (+)- and (-)-forms of perillaaldehyde and limonene oxide. The pigtail macaques, but not the squirrel monkeys, also discriminated between the antipodes of perillaalcohol and isopulegol. A comparison of the across-task patterns of discrimination performance shows a high degree of similarity among the two primate species and also between these nonhuman primates and human subjects tested in an earlier study on the same tasks. These findings suggest that between-species comparisons of the relative size of olfactory brain structures or of the number of functional olfactory receptor genes are poor predictors of olfactory discrimination performance with enantiomers.

PMID:
15703336
DOI:
10.1093/chemse/bji013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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