Olfactory memory is an ethologically relevant task that relies on a mouse’s innate ability to use olfaction to forage for food (Zou et al., 2015), and identify safe foods. Although many of the same brain areas involved in other forms of memory are also involved in olfactory memory, the mechanisms are different (Sanchez-Andrade et al., 2005; Tong et al., 2014). Here, we describe one way to test olfactory memory in mice. The protocol described can be used to test long-term memory (memory which requires de novo protein synthesis) or short term memory by adjusting the delay time between the training session and the recall session (Freedman et al., 2013) and has been designed to mimic the single presentation of the social recognition paradigm. This paradigm relies on the mouse’s innate tendency to investigate a novel scent more than a familiar scent. Transgenic NR2A overexpression mice are known to have impaired long-term olfactory memory, but intact short-term memory, and are used here to demonstrate how one form of impaired olfactory memory may appear. Other genetically or chemically manipulated mice may be used in place of the transgenic mice used here.
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