University of Cambridge > > Behaviour, Ecology & Evolution Seminar Series > Genetic, neuronal and experiential influences on olfactory perception in mice

Genetic, neuronal and experiential influences on olfactory perception in mice

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Hannah Rowland.

Mice, like most mammals, rely heavily on their sense of smell for appropriate social interaction as well as identifying food and avoiding predation. Olfactory perception relies on the detection of odours and pheromones via many hundreds of different types of olfactory and vomeronasal receptors, singularly expressed by olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) in the nose. OSNs die and are replenished throughout life, offering a mouse the opportunity to modify its olfactory capacity over time. I will present our investigations into variance in olfactory perception in laboratory mice at three levels: genetic, neuronal and experiential, using high-throughput genomic, transcriptomic and olfactory receptor screening technologies. Our results suggest that the same environment smells differently to each individual mouse, and that multiple mechanisms contribute to this variance in sensory perception. I will discuss the evolutionary and behavioural implications of this finding.

This talk is part of the Behaviour, Ecology & Evolution Seminar Series series.

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