UNIT 8.24 Simple Behavioral Assessment of Mouse Olfaction

  1. Mu Yang,
  2. Jacqueline N. Crawley

Published Online: 1 JUL 2009

DOI: 10.1002/0471142301.ns0824s48

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

How to Cite

Yang, M. and Crawley, J. N. 2009. Simple Behavioral Assessment of Mouse Olfaction. Current Protocols in Neuroscience. 48:8.24:8.24.1–8.24.12.

Author Information

  1. National Institute of Mental Health, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 JUL 2009
  2. Published Print: JUL 2009


This unit presents two basic protocols that offer rapid assessments of anosmia (the absence of a sense of smell) in mice. The buried food test is used to check for the ability to smell volatile odors. The olfactory habituation/dishabituation test is used to test whether the animal can detect and differentiate different odors, including both nonsocial and social odors. A non-contact method of odor presentation, along with a general method for collecting urine samples, is given as an alternate protocol. The tests described in this unit only require simple equipment and can be adopted readily by most laboratories.Curr. Protoc. Neurosci. 48:8.24.1-8.24.12. © 2009 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


  • olfaction;
  • mouse;
  • anosmia;
  • buried food test;
  • habituation/dishabituation test