Probing the neural mechanisms that underlie each sensory system requires the presentation of perceptually appropriate stimulus concentrations. This is particularly relevant in the olfactory system as additional odorant receptors typically respond with increasing stimulus concentrations. Thus, perceptual measures of olfactory sensitivity provide an important guide for functional experiments. This study focuses on aliphatic alcohols because they are commonly used to survey neural activity in a variety of olfactory regions, probe the behavioral limits of odor discrimination, and assess odor-structure activity relationships in mice. However, despite their frequent use, a systematic study of the relative sensitivity of these odorants in mice is not available. Thus, we assayed the ability of C57BL/6J mice to detect a homologous series of primary aliphatic alcohols (1-propanol to 1-heptanol) using a head-fixed Go/No-Go operant conditioning assay combined with highly reproducible stimulus delivery. To aid in the accessibility of our data, we report the animal’s threshold to each odorant according to the 1) ideal gas condition, 2) nonideal gas condition (factoring in the activity of the odorant in the solvent), and 3) the liquid dilution of the odorant in the olfactometer. Of the odorants tested, mice were most sensitive to 1-hexanol and least sensitive to 1-butanol. These updated measures of murine sensitivity will hopefully guide experimenters in choosing appropriate stimulus concentrations for experiments using these odorants.

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