Olfactory discrimination of short chain fatty acids in rats with large bilateral lesions of the olfactory bulbs
Rats trained preoperatively to discriminate between acetic acid and caproic acid and between acetic acid and propionic acid were tested for their memory of these tasks and ability to discriminate between these odorants and between the enantiomers of carvone after receiving large bilateral bulbar lesions that included most of the fatty acid responsive areas identified in prior physiological studies. Concentrations of acid odorants were varied to insure that discrimination was based on the qualitative difference between acids. Experimental rats performed somewhat poorer than controls on the memory test but had no significant deficits in performing the acid discrimination tasks or discriminating between the enantiomers of carvone. These results demonstrate that removal of most bulbar sites identified as responsive to fatty acids and the consequent disruption of patterned input to the bulb is largely without effect on discriminating odor qualities of structurally similar acids.