Hamster pups avoid certain organic odors as early as postnatal day 3 or 4. Continuous exposure to these odors during rearing selectively diminishes their aversiveness for the hamsters as measured in a two-choice situation. This acquired indifference is stimulus-specific and depends upon the integrity of the olfactory bulb. Indifference does not transfer to other normally aversive odors and is not due to any general impairment of odor detection. Although the test situation requires an orientation response and although bilateral lesions of the superficial layers of the superior colliculus have been shown to eliminate visual orientation in adult hamsters (Schneider, 1969), such lesions produce only a transient deficit in orientation to the odors employed in this study.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science(all)
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)