Our behaviors are strongly influenced by our perceived preferences or aversions to sensory stimuli. Smells and tastes each are well known to hold both unlearned (“innate”) or learned valence. The molecular mechanisms affording this, and the neural circuitry which informs valence-based percepts and behaviors are unclear. In this seminar, we will present work from two different chemosensory systems, including the mammalian accessory olfactory system and the main olfactory system, which highlight the conserved, yet also distinct systems which support olfactory valence. We also will extend these findings to speculate upon mechanisms underlying the formation of chemosensory valence in humans.
Sachiko Yamanaka, PhD
University of California, Riverside
Dan Wesson, PhD
University of Florida