Novel Odor Recognition and Odor Habituation in Young Rats

Chang, Victoria
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
The study investigated the duration of an odor memory in weanling rats compared to adults using a modified version of the Novel Object Recognition (NOR) task. To acquire familiarity or habituation to an odor, subjects were exposed to one extract – vanilla or almond – over an acquisition period of five consecutive 2 min trials with 5 min intertrial intervals. To test for retention of the odor memory, the rats were then presented with both the familiar and a novel extract either 5 min, 3 h, or 24 h after the last encoding trial. Both ages habituated quickly to the sample odor. Weanlings exhibited the highest novelty preference after 5 min retention. Adults investigated the novel odor more than weanlings when tested 24 h after acquisition. Age of subject at test influences memory retention, encoding speed, and object preferences.
olfactory memory, odor learning, odor recognition, odor habituation, odor discrimination, odor recall, rat ontogeny, novelty preference, novel object recognition task, one-trial object recognition task
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