Generalization between binary odor mixtures and their components in the rat

Christiane Linster, Brian H. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


We have adopted a conditioning paradigm to investigate generalization between odor mixtures and components. Rats were conditioned to find a reward buried in odor-scented cups. The conditioned odor was either a mixture (O1 + O2) or a pure component (O1). Once they learned the task to criterion, they were tested in random sequence for response to that O1, O1 + O2 and to an unrelated odor (O3). Generalization was consistently the strongest from O1 to O1 + O2 or from O1 + O2 to O1. Furthermore, the degree of generalization depended on the odorants used as O1, O2, and O3. This latter finding in a particular indicates that this assay can be used to assess properties of mixtures, which could arise at either peripheral or more central locations. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)701-707
Number of pages7
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Binary odor
  • Conditioning paradigm
  • Odor components

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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