ANALYSIS OF SNIFFING OF THE ALBINO RAT 1) by W. I. WELKER 2) (Laboratory of Neurophysiology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin). (With 9 Figures) (Rec. 30-X-1962) INTRODUCTION The exploring albino rat exhibits a cluster of movement sequences usually referred to as "sniffing". The snout is probed along and around surfaces by a series of discrete head movements. The tip of the snout and the mystacial vibrissae are also in brisk motion during such excursions and all of these acts are accompanied by rapid respiratory movements. These sequential ac- tions are prominent characteristics of rat exploratory behavior and their spatiotemporal organization suggests that the animal is sampling olfactory and tactile stimuli. It was the purpose of the experiments reported below to describe and analyze some of the details of these action sequences; to identify the time of their first appearance, and to trace their subsequent ontogenetic develop- ment ; to test certain hypotheses regarding their functional significance; and to determine some of the neural circuits involved in their operation. MATERIALS AND METHODS Subjects. Sprague-Dawley albino rats of both sexes and several ages were used as subjects. PROCEDURE The subjects were divided into five experimental groups in order to exa-
Behaviour – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1964
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