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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2006 Jul;63(13):1476-84.

Parallel processing of social signals by the mammalian main and accessory olfactory systems.

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Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 20 Penn Street, Baltimore, MD, 21201, USA.


The mammalian olfactory system has evolved complex mechanisms to detect a vast range of molecular cues. In rodents, the olfactory system comprises several distinct subsystems. Current interest has focused on the exact role that each of these subsystems plays in detecting molecular information and regulating chemosensory-dependent behaviors. Here, we summarize recent results showing that the mouse main and accessory olfactory systems detect, at least in part, overlapping sets of social chemosignals. These findings give rise to a model that involves parallel processing of the same molecular cues in both systems. Together with previous work, this model will lead to a better understanding of the general organization of chemical communication in mammals and give a new direction for future experiments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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