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Olfactory Search Images in Striped Skunks

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image of Behaviour

Striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) which had been raised in captivity can increase their reaction distance to the smell of a given food. This reaction distance decreases after they find other types of foods, using either sound or smell. This decrease could be a result of skunks increasing preference for specific food, or shifting attention onto the smell of specific food. However, other experiments showed that skunks do not change prey preference. Therefore the decrease in reaction distance is likely due to skunks shifting attention to the smell of specific food. I suggest that this is the olfactory analogue to visual search images-i.e. olfactory search images.

Affiliations: 1: (Department of Biology, University of Victoria, Victoria, B.C., V8W 2Y2, Canada


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