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(25 Feb 2009 18:00 GMT) - In the real world, odours don't happen one puff at a time. Animals move through, and subsequently distort, plumes of odour molecules that constantly drift, changing direction as the wind disperses them. Now, by exploring how animals smell odours under naturalistic conditions, Rockefeller University scientist Maria Neimark Geffen and her colleagues reveal that the brain encodes these swirling and complex patterns of molecules using surprisingly little neural machinery. The findings suggest a new theory of how animals smell…
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