Document Detail

Different thresholds for detection and discrimination of odors in the honey bee (Apis mellifera).
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  14977809     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Naturally occurring odors used by animals for mate recognition, food identification and other purposes must be detected at concentrations that vary across several orders of magnitude. Olfactory systems must therefore have the capacity to represent odors over a large range of concentrations regardless of dramatic changes in the salience, or perceived intensity, of a stimulus. The stability of the representation of an odor relative to other odors across concentration has not been extensively evaluated. We tested the ability of honey bees to discriminate pure odorants across a range of concentrations at and above their detection threshold. Our study showed that pure odorant compounds became progressively easier for honey bees to discriminate with increasing concentration. Discrimination is, therefore, a function of odorant concentration. We hypothesize that the recruitment of sensory cell populations across a range of concentrations may be important for odor coding, perhaps by changing its perceptual qualities or by increasing its salience against background stimuli, and that this mechanism is a general property of olfactory systems.
Geraldine A Wright; Brian H Smith
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Chemical senses     Volume:  29     ISSN:  0379-864X     ISO Abbreviation:  Chem. Senses     Publication Date:  2004 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-02-23     Completed Date:  2004-10-18     Revised Date:  2007-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8217190     Medline TA:  Chem Senses     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  127-35     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Entomology, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Bees / physiology*
Chromatography, Gas
Discrimination (Psychology) / physiology*
Discrimination Learning
Extinction, Psychological / physiology
Generalization, Stimulus
Hexanes / pharmacology
Hexanols / pharmacology
Sense Organs / physiology
Sensory Thresholds / physiology*
Smell / physiology*
Grant Support
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Hexanes; 0/Hexanols; 111-27-3/1-hexanol

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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