Prenatal Olfactory Sensitivity

           Undergraduate Researcher: Chelsy Obrer

            

    Most research on early perceptual development in precocial birds has focused on chicks’ auditory and visual responsiveness. Olfactory responsiveness has received little research attention, as precocial birds were thought to have limited olfactory abilities in the days and weeks following hatching. However, in recent years this belief has been questioned, as olfactory cues may help in food and nest location, predator detection, navigation, and kin identification. This research focuses on prenatal and postnatal chemosensory learning and how prenatal exposure to different scents can alter postnatal olfactory preferences and scent detection.