Research Topic

Chemosensory Learning and Memory

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The contribution of research in the chemosensory field to advancing knowledge on learning and memory mechanisms has a long tradition. At the middle of the twentieth century, behavioural data provided evidence that taste and olfactory cues led to robust long-lasting memories after single learning episodes. The ...

The contribution of research in the chemosensory field to advancing knowledge on learning and memory mechanisms has a long tradition. At the middle of the twentieth century, behavioural data provided evidence that taste and olfactory cues led to robust long-lasting memories after single learning episodes. The peculiar features of some of these types of learning, such as conditioned taste aversion in mammals, were a challenge for learning theory at the time, which was modified in order to integrate the new findings.
In the following decades, the reliability of the behavioural models favoured the application of anatomical, neurophysiological and pharmacological techniques prompting great progress in the identification of the specific neural circuits involved in taste and olfactory learning, thanks to the use of a variety of invertebrate and vertebrate models. In spite of the previous views that considered chemosensory learning as simple models of learning, based on its phylogenetic and ontogenetic universality, at present the systems-level approach is revealing the need to focus on the interactions between a variety of sensory, rewarding, cognitive, emotional and motor systems for a full understanding. The great impact on the field of the more recent developments in molecular biology and human neuroimaging techniques are also remarkable. Nowadays understanding the brain processes involved in learning and memory requires a wider approach to the experience-dependent neural plasticity that includes new phenomena such as adult neurogenesis and epigenetics. In fact, research on plasticity in the olfactory system is important in both areas. Moreover, the realms of chemosensory learning and memory have expanded to shield light on social, clinical and applied issues, thus creating a wide multidisciplinary scene.
In this context, this Research Topic is aimed to offer an updated scene of the present knowledge and questions raised in a rapidly expanding field by gathering views obtained with different species from invertebrate to humans and various techniques. If you wish to contribute a review to this Research Topic, please send a proposed title and abstract to the Host Editors shown below. The number of topics that can be included is limited. All papers will be peer reviewed. For further information on Frontiers Research Topics please see http://www.frontiersin.org/neuroscience/specialtopicdescription. We look forward to hearing from those who wish to contribute. Titles and abstracts of proposed papers should be sent as soon as possible for consideration. The deadline for the receipt of the review papers is 15 June 2011.

Milagros Gallo, University of Granada, Granada, Spain. (mgallo@ugr.es)
Edmund Rolls, Oxford Centre for Computational Neuroscience, Oxford, UK. (Edmund.Rolls@oxcns.org)
Host Editors of the Research Topic “Chemosensory Learning and Memory”


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