A new approach to experiments in «odor psychophysics» (on the research of the olfactory sensitivity of fish)



This work represents a scientific review and synthesis of the major achievements in the field of psychophysics of a fish’s olfaction over the past 25 years compared with all prior period of the development of the subject. This review allows one to analyze the results of national studies in the context of world scientific trends and to assess the importance of an interdisciplinary and ecological approach to an experiment in solving of zoo-psychophysical problems.

General Information

Keywords: olfaction, sensitivity, discrimination, the key incentives, the effectiveness of actions, untrained fish

Journal rubric: Psychophysiology

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Selivanova L.A. A new approach to experiments in «odor psychophysics» (on the research of the olfactory sensitivity of fish) . Eksperimental'naâ psihologiâ = Experimental Psychology (Russia), 2010. Vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 38–49. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


  1. Maljukina G. A., Marusov E. A., Devicyna G. V., Chervova L. S. Hemorecepcija i ee rol' v povedenii nekotoryh vidov ryb Belogo morja // Biol. resursy Belogo morja. 1990. Vyp.7. S. 178–185.
  2. Meshkova N. N. Povedenie ryb v situacijah novizny i ego izuchenie v svjazi s zadachami promyshlennogo rybolovstva // Raschet, proektirovanie i jekspluatacija rybopromyslovoj tehniki. Kaliningrad: 1986. S. 102–115.
  3. Meshkova N. N. Ob izuchenii psihologicheskih mehanizmov adaptacii ryb v situacii lova // Promyshlennoe rybolovstvo. Kaliningrad: 1988. S. 72–76.
  4. Myznikov N. M. Chuvstvitel'nost' obonjatel'nogo analizatora u sluzhebnyh sobak i metody ee povyshenija // ZhVND im. I. P. Pavlova. 1958. T. 8. № 5. S. 744–756.
  5. Selivanova L. A., Skotnikova I. G. Issledovanie razlichitel'noj hemochuvstvitel'nosti ryb // Psihologicheskij zhurnal. 2007. T 28. № 2. S. 95–105.
  6. Sergeeva L. I. Chuvstvitel'nost' i differencial'nye porogi hemoreceptorov kostistyh ryb k destillernoj zhidkosti i hloridam // Izv. GOSNIORH’a. 1975. T.93. S. 139–142.
  7. Fabri K. Je. Vvedenie v obwuju i prikladnuju ihtiopsihologiju. M.: Izd. MGU, 1988. 49 s.
  8. Fabri K. Je. Zadachi sovremennoj zoopsihologii // Psihologicheskij zhurnal. 1981. T. 2. № 5. S. 68–80.
  9. Audubon J. J. Account of the habits of the turkey buzzard (Vultur aura) particularly with the view of exploding the opinion generally entertained of its extraordinary power of smelling // Edinburgh New Phila J. 1826. V. 2. P. 172–185.
  10. Bull H. O. Studies on conditioned responses in fishes. Part I // J. Marine Biol. Assoc. U.K. 1928. V. 15. № 2. P. 485–533.
  11. Bull H. O. Studies on conditioned responses in fishes. Part II // J. Marine Biol.Assoc. U.K. 1930. V. 16. P. 615–637.
  12. Bull H. O. An evaluation of our knowledge of fish behavior in relation to hydrography // Rapp. Reunions Cons. Permanent Intern. Explor. Mer. 1952. V. 131. № 7. P. 8–23.
  13. Caprio J. Olfaction and taste in channel catfish: An electrophysiological study of the responses to amino acids and derivatives // J. Comp. Physiol. A. 1978. V. 123. № 4. P. 357–371.
  14. Caprio J., Brand J. G., Teeter J. H., Valentincic T., Kalinoski D. L., Kohbara J., Kumazawa T. & Wegert S. The taste system of channel catfish: from biophysics to behavior // TINS. 1993. V. 16. № 5. P. 192–197.
  15. Doving K. B. The influence of olfactory stimuli upon the activity of secondary neurones in the burbot (Lota lota L.) // Acta Physiol. Scand. 1966. V. 66. № 3. P. 290–299.
  16. Doving K. B., Selset R., Thommesen G. Olfactory sensitivity to bile acids in salmonid fishes // Acta Physiol. Scand. 1980. V. 108. № 2. P. 123–131.
  17. Glaser D. Untersuchungen uber die absoluten Geschmacksschwellen von Fischen // Z. Vergl. Physiol. 1966. V. 52. P. 1–25.
  18. Hara T. J. Molecular structure and stimulatory effectiveness of amino acids in fish olfaction // Olfaction and Taste V / Eds. D. A. Denton, J. P. Coghlan. New York: Academic Press. 1975 a. P. 223–226.
  19. Hara T. J. Olfaction in fish // Progr. in Neurobiology (Oxford). 1975 b. V. 5. Part 4. P. 271–335.
  20. Hasler A. D., Scholtz A. T. Olfactory imprinting and homing in salmon. Investigations into the mechanism of imprinting process. Springer, 1983. In collab. with R. W. Goy.
  21. Holland K. N., Teeter J. H. Behavioral and cardiac reflex assays of the chemosensory acuity of channel catfish to amino acids // Physiol. Behav. 1981. V. 27. P. 699–707.
  22. Hubbard P. C., Ingleton P. M., Bendell L. A., Barata E. N., Canario A. V. M. Olfactory sensitivity to changes in environmrntal [Ca2+] in the freshwater teleost Carassius auratus: an olfactory role for the Ca2+-sensing receptor? // J. Exp. Biol. 2002. V. 205. № 18. P. 2755–2764.
  23. Johnsen P. B., Zhou H., Adams M. A. Olfactory sensitivity of herbivorous grass carp, Ctenopharyngodon idella, to amino acids // J. Fish Biol. 1988. V. 33. № 1. P. 127–134.
  24. Johnstone A. D. F. The detection of dissolved amino acids by the Atlantic cod, Gadus morya L. // J. Fish Biol. 1980. V. 17. P. 219–230.
  25. Kohbara J., Hidaka I., Morishita T. & Miyajima T. Gustatory and olfactory sensitivity to extracts of jack mackerel muscle in young yellowtail Seriola quinqueradiata // Aquaculture. 2000. V. 181. № 1-2. P. 127–140.
  26. Kohbara J., Michel W., Caprio J. Responses of single facial taste fibers in the channel caifish, Ictalurus punctatus, to amino acids // J. Neurophysiol. 1992. V. 68. № 4. P. 1012–1026.
  27. Little E. E. Conditioned aversion to amino acid flavors in the catfish, Ictalurus punctatus // Physiol. Behav. 1977. V. 19. P. 743–747.
  28. Little E. E. Conditioned cardiac response to the olfactory stimuli of amino acids in the channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus // Physiol. Behav. 1981. V. 27. P. 691–697.
  29. MacLeod N .K. Spontaneous activity of single neurons in the olfactory bulb of the rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri) and its modulation by olfactory stimulation with amino acids // Exp. Brain Res. 1976. V. 25. № 3. P. 267–278.
  30. Marcstrom A. Reaction thresholds of roaches (Leuciscus rutilus L.) to some aromatic substances // Arkiv for zoologi. 1959. Bd. 12. Ht. 4. P. 335–338.
  31. Mearns K. J. Behavioral responses of salmonid fry to low amino acids concentrations // J. Fish Biol. 1989. V. 34. № 2. P. 223–232.
  32. Michel W. C., Lubomudrov L. M. Specificity and sensitivity of the olfactory organ of the zebrafish, Danio rerio // J. Comp. Physiol.A. 1995. V. 177. № 2. P. 191–199.
  33. Neuhaus von W., Appelbaum S. Quantitative Bestimmung der Geruchsadaptation bei Phoxinus laevis L. und die Bedeutung der Adaptation bei der Geruchsorientierung der Wanderfische // Zool. Jahrb. Physiol. 1980. V. 84. № 4. P. 458–471.
  34. Nordeng H. A pheromone hypothesis for homeward migration in anadromous salmonids // Oikos. 1977. V. 28. № 2-3. P. 155–159.
  35. Passe D. H., Walker J. C. Odor psychophysics in vertebrates // Neurosci. Biobehav. Rev. 1985. V. 9. № 3. P. 431–467.
  36. Shoji T., Ueda H., Ohgami T., Sacamoto T. et al. Amino acids dissolved in stream water as possible home stream odorants for masu salmon // Chem. Senses. 2000. V. 25. № 5. P. 533–540.
  37. Teichmann H. Uber die Leistung des Geruchssinnes beim Aal (Anguilla anguilla L.) // Z. Vergl. Physiol. 1959. V. 42. P. 206–254.
  38. Ueda K. An electrophysiological approach to the olfactory recognition of homestream waters in chum salmon // NOAA Techn. Rept. NMFS. 1985. № 27. P. 97–102.
  39. Valentincic T., Koce A. Coding principles in fish olfaction as revealed by single unit, EOG and behavioral studies // Pflugers Arch. – Eur. J. Physiol. 2000. V. 439. Suppl. P. R193–R195.
  40. Walker T. J., Hasler A. D. Detection and discrimination of odors of aquaticplants by the bluntnose minnow (Hyborhynchus notatus) // Physiol. Zool. 1949. V. 22. P. 45–63.
  41. Zeiske E., Caprio J., Gruber S.H. Morphological and electrophysiological studies on the olfactory organ of the lemon shark, Negaprion brevirostris (Poeg) // Indo-Pacific Fish Biology. Proc. Second Int. Conf. Indo-Pacific Fishes / Eds. T. Uyeno, R. Arai, T. Taniuchi, K. Matsuura. Tokyo: 1986. P. 381–391.

Information About the Authors

Lyubov A. Selivanova, PhD in Psychology, Junior Research Associate, A. N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of RAS, Moscow, Russia, e-mail: lyubov.selivanova@gmail.com



Total: 2680
Previous month: 5
Current month: 5


Total: 638
Previous month: 9
Current month: 1