The role of metabotropic glutamate receptors and cortical adaptation in habituation of odor-guided behavior


Decreases in behavioral investigation of novel stimuli over time may be mediated by a variety of factors including changes in attention, internal state, and motivation. Sensory cortical adaptation, a decrease in sensory cortical responsiveness over prolonged stimulation, may also play a role. In olfaction, metabotropic glutamate receptors on cortical afferent pre-synaptic terminals have been shown to underlie both cortical sensory adaptation and habituation of odor-evoked reflexes. The present experiment examined whether blockade of sensory cortical adaptation through bilateral infusion of the group III metabotropic glutamate receptor antagonist cyclopropyl-4-phosphonophenylglycine (CPPG) into the anterior piriform cortex could reduce habituation of a more complex odor-driven behavior such as investigation of a scented object or a conspecific. The results demonstrate that time spent investigating a scented jar, or a conspecific, decreases over the course of a continuous 10 minute trial. Acute infusion of CPPG bilaterally into the anterior piriform cortex significantly enhanced the time spent investigating the scented jar compared to investigation time in control rats, without affecting overall behavioral activity levels. Infusions into the brain outside of the piriform cortex were without effect. CPPG infusion into the piriform cortex also produced an enhancement of time spent investigating a conspecific, although this effect was not significant.

Document Type




Publication Date


Journal Title

Learning & Memory