The olfactometer is a whole package dedicated for the scientific study of animal behavior. This computer-controlled system automatically governs and measures a process in which the animal learns to associate a sensory stimulus with a reinforcement. In addition, the system includes (optional) a miniaturized programmable pulse generator designed for synchronizing optogenetic and brain stimulations with behavior. This system has been evaluated for more than three years and approved by researchers from the Institut Pasteur.
This olfactometer System designed for optogenetics provides undeniable vantages in behavioral assessment of odor-detection and discrimination behavior. This system constitute a powerful tool for detailed analysis of olfactory sensory functions, including the application of psychophysical methods to determine odor detection, studies of odor discrimination, odor categorization, odor memory, as well as more complex parameters such as sampling time. Such studies require well defined stimuli by controlling its concentration, location, onset and offset times. Our system combines good control of odor stimuli with operant conditioning techniques to achieve control of behavior. Three different operant conditioning procedures can be performed with our system called: go-no go (central or lateral port versions) and two-alternative choices. This system has been primalary developed for olfaction performance, it could be also adapted to other sensory modalities (cf audition and vision).