Neuroplasticity in the sparing or deterioration of function after early olfactory tract lesions

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Science  05 Dec 1975:
Vol. 190, Issue 4218, pp. 998-1000
DOI: 10.1126/science.1188382


Mating behavior in male hamsters depends on the sense of smell. Thus, complete transection of the lateral olfactory tract in adults eliminates mating. If the cut is made early in life, however, mating is spared. Partial section of the tract in adults does not affect mating, but similar cuts in the neonate lead to impaired mating performance later in life. Observed postsurgical rearrangements in the connections of axons in the lateral olfactory tract may explain both the sparing and the deterioration of function.