News of the WeekNeuroscience

Snooty Exchanges Are Key to Mouse Society

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Science  21 Feb 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5610, pp. 1163
DOI: 10.1126/science.299.5610.1163a

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On page 1196, neuroscientists report a major step toward understanding how pheromone cues are processed in the brain. By recording the electric chatter of neurons in the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB) of mice as they sniff another mouse, the researchers have discovered neurons that vary their activity in response to the sex and genetic strain of the sniffee. This suggests that the AOB extracts important social information from pheromonal cues.