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Discussion & Conclusion

Discussion

Unfortunately, only a small number of studies evaluated the effects of specific odour components instead of a complex mixture, such as urine or faeces. Due to this fact, it is difficult to draw conclusions whether the odour components used in this study really do not have a behavioural significance for CD-1 mice or if the lack of significant differences is caused by the small sample size. This is further complicated by the fact, that predator odours often consist of several dozen different odourants and no study has systematically assessed whether a single odourant is sufficient to elicit aversive behaviour or if a mixture of several is needed. Furthermore, only two of the predator odourants were tested at different concentrations.

Since general stress-related behaviour as well as responses when presented with predator odour seem to differ depending on the chosen mouse strain, it is also important to note that the insights gained in this study might only be valid for CD-1 mice and may differ significantly in other mouse strains.

Conclusion

  • Single components of predator odours may not be sufficient to elicit behavioural changes in mice.
    • A combination of several components or the full odor mixture may be necessary to induce avoidance.
  • Olfactory induced neophobia does not account for aversive behaviour in this set-up.


Responsible for this page: Agneta Johansson
Last updated: 05/27/15