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Spatial information from the odour environment in mammalian olfaction

Marin, AC; Schaefer, AT; Ackels, T; (2021) Spatial information from the odour environment in mammalian olfaction. Cell and Tissue Research , 383 pp. 473-483. 10.1007/s00441-020-03395-3. Green open access

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Abstract

The sense of smell is an essential modality for many species, in particular nocturnal and crepuscular mammals, to gather information about their environment. Olfactory cues provide information over a large range of distances, allowing behaviours ranging from simple detection and recognition of objects, to tracking trails and navigating using odour plumes from afar. In this review, we discuss the features of the natural olfactory environment and provide a brief overview of how odour information can be sampled and might be represented and processed by the mammalian olfactory system. Finally, we discuss recent behavioural approaches that address how mammals extract spatial information from the environment in three diferent contexts: odour trail tracking, odour plume tracking and, more general, olfactory-guided navigation. Recent technological developments have seen the spatiotemporal aspect of mammalian olfaction gain signifcant attention, and we discuss both the promising aspects of rapidly developing paradigms and stimulus control technologies as well as their limitations. We conclude that, while still in its beginnings, research on the odour environment ofers an entry point into understanding the mechanisms how mammals extract information about space.

Type: Article
Title: Spatial information from the odour environment in mammalian olfaction
Location: Germany
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s00441-020-03395-3
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00441-020-03395-3
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Spatial information · Odour · Mammalian olfaction · Odour plumes
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Neuro, Physiology and Pharmacology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10121398
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