Smell You Later: Exposure to Smells in Early Infancy Can Modulate Adult Behavior
[Source: Science Daily]
The smells that newborn mice are exposed to (or “imprint” on to use the academic term) affect many social behaviors later in life, but how this happens is still a mystery. Scientists from Japan have now discovered the molecules necessary for imprinting. Their new study sheds light on the decision-making process and neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorders. It also proposes more effective use of oxytocin therapy for such disorders at an early age.
Imprinting is a popularly known phenomenon, wherein certain animals and birds become fixated on sights and smells they see immediately after being born. In ducklings, this can be the first moving object, usually the mother duck. In migrating fish like salmon and trout, it is the smells they knew as neonates that guides them back to their home river as adults. How does this happen?
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