Neural correlates of conditioned odor avoidance in infant rats.Behav Neurosci. 1991 Apr; 105(2):307-12.BN
Newborn rat pups can learn to either approach or avoid odor cues through associative conditioning. The present results demonstrate that preference conditioning and avoidance conditioning both modify olfactory bulb responses (focal 2-deoxyglucose uptake and mitral-tufted cell single unit responses) to the conditioned odor. Despite opposing behavioral responses to the conditioned odor, however, olfactory bulb neural responses did not detectably differ between learned odor cues signaling approach and those signaling avoidance. Control pups exhibited neither the behavioral nor neural changes. Furthermore, both the behavioral and neural changes to these odor cues could be extinguished. These results suggest that the olfactory bulb in neonates may code learned odor importance, but specific information attached to that importance may require processing in other brain regions.