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Neural PlasticityVolume 2009 2009, Article ID 754014, 6 pages

Research Article

Department of Zoology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019, USA

Emotional Brain Institute, Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, 140 Old Orangeburg Road, Orangeburg, NY 10962, USA

Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, 577 First Avenue, New York, NY 10016, USA

Received 26 November 2008; Accepted 20 January 2009

Academic Editor: Edi Barkai

Copyright © 2009 Jonathan J. Smith et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Dishabituation is a return of a habituated response if context or contingency changes. In the mammalian olfactory system, metabotropic glutamate receptor mediated synaptic depression of cortical afferents underlies short-term habituation to odors. It was hypothesized that a known antagonistic interaction between these receptors and norepinephrine -receptors provides a mechanism for dishabituation. The results demonstrate that a 108 dB siren induces a two-fold increase in norepinephrine content in the piriform cortex. The same auditory stimulus induces dishabituation of odor-evoked heart rate orienting bradycardia responses in awake rats. Finally, blockade of piriform cortical norepinephrine -receptors with bilateral intracortical infusions of propranolol 100  M disrupts auditory-induced dishabituation of odor-evoked bradycardia responses. These results provide a cortical mechanism for a return of habituated sensory responses following a cross-modal alerting stimulus.

Autor: Jonathan J. Smith, Kiseko Shionoya, Regina M. Sullivan, and Donald A. Wilson



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