Aversion and Attraction through Olfaction

Qian Li, Stephen D. Liberles
2015 Current Biology  
Sensory cues that predict reward or punishment are fundamental drivers of animal behavior. For example, attractive odors of palatable food or a potential mate predict reward, while aversive odors of pathogen-laced food or a predator predict punishment. Aversive and attractive odors can be detected by intermingled sensory neurons that express highly related olfactory receptors and display similar central projections. These findings raise basic questions of how innate odor valence is extracted
more » ... m olfactory circuits, how such circuits are developmentally endowed and modulated by state, and how innate and learned odor responses are related. Here, we review odors, receptors and neural circuits associated with stimulus valence, discussing salient principles derived from studies on nematodes, insects and vertebrates. Understanding the organization of neural circuitry that mediates odor aversion and attraction will provide key insights into how the brain functions.
doi:10.1016/j.cub.2014.11.044 pmid:25649823 pmcid:PMC4317791 fatcat:fppp67il5rfn5ek4praeztstpy