Neural systems are, as a rule, highly responsive to environmental parameters, situational constraints, and the state of the organism’s knowledge of the world.  One could argue, in fact, that this environmental responsiveness is the central point of their existence.  We use the olfactory system as a model for understanding the adaptive response of functioning neural circuits to experimentally controllable environmental and experiential factors, such as:

  • Stress
  • Environmental and olfactory enrichment
  • Hunger/satiation
  • Task dependence; task parameters; behavioral demands; strategy shifts