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Mice have distinct system for instinctual smells

August 6, 2012

Neuroscience graduate students Mark A. Johnson and Lulu Tsai, led by professor Gilad Barnea, conducted a series of experiments to discover that mice have a distinct neural subsystem that links the nose to the brain and is associated with instinctually important smells such as those emitted by predators.  This discovery, published online this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, prompts the question whether mice and other mammals have specially hardwired neural circuitry to trigger instinctive behavior in response to certain smells. Read more about the specialized system for detecting smells in mice, by David Orenstein.