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Olfactory imprinting

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In neuroethology, olfactory imprinting is the imprinting process in which olfactory cues are used as the basis for identification. For example, in the process of olfactory imprinting in sheep ewes, having just given birth, imprint onto their lambs on the basis of olfactory cues, allowing mothers to distinguish their own offspring from other lambs in the flock. This olfactory-based imprinting is dependent on a ewe’s behavior after giving birth, on the presence of amniotic fluid, and on a specialized odor-influenced learning process which allows the ewe to quickly memorize the smell of her offspring, to whom she then forms an exclusive maternal bond.

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