Olfactory Stimulus Control and the Behavioral Pharmacology of Remembering

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Abstract

Behavior analytic approaches and techniques have much to offer the study of remembering. There is currently great interest in the development of animal models of human memory processes to enhance understanding of the neurobiology of memory and treatment of dementia and related disorders. Because rodent models are so important in contemporary neuroscience and genetics, development of procedures to study various forms of memory in rodents is a point of emphasis. The sense of smell plays an important role in rodent behavior, and use of olfactory stimuli has permitted demonstrations of complex forms of stimulus control that have also served as baselines for studying drug effects on remembering. This article focuses on the effects of drugs on behavior maintained by 2 related procedures: delayed matching-to-sample with odors and the Odor Span Task. These types of procedures provide an opportunity to explore drug effects on behavior maintained by multiple stimuli and across a range of delay intervals with potential to advance analysis of the behavioral pharmacology of remembering.

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