The effects of deprivation and enrichment on the electroolfactogram of mice were studied through the paradigms of unilateral naris occlusion and odor induction, respectively. Deprivation was shown to cause an increase in electroolfactogram amplitudes after 7 days. We also show that unilateral naris occlusion is not detrimental to the gross anatomical appearance or electroolfactogram of either the ipsilateral or contralateral olfactory epithelium even after year-long survival periods, consistent with our previous assumptions. Turning to induction, the increase in olfactory responses after a period of odor enrichment, could not be shown in CD-1 outbred mice for any odorant tried. However, consistent with classical studies, it was evident in C57BL/6J inbred mice, which are initially insensitive to isovaleric acid. As is the case for deprivation, enriching C57BL/6J mice with isovaleric acid causes an increase in their electroolfactogram response to this odorant over time. In several experiments on C57BL/6J mice, the odorant specificity, onset timing, recovery timing, and magnitude of the induction effect were studied. Considered together, the current findings and previous work from the laboratory support the counterintuitive conclusion that both compensatory plasticity in response to deprivation and induction in response to odor enrichment are caused by the same underlying homeostatic mechanism, the purpose of which is to preserve sensory information flow no matter the odorant milieu. This hypothesis, the detailed evidence supporting it, and speculations concerning human odor induction are discussed.

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