Electrical responses of single olfactory receptor neurons of the male redbanded leafroller moth were elicited by each of the principle components of the sex pheromone and six other behaviorally active compounds. Response frequencies to equal intensities of each of these compounds and changes in response frequency with increasing amounts of any one compound, varied from receptor to receptor. These differences in response characteristics appear to be due to factors intrinsic to the olfactory recptor neuron and not to factors external to it. The encoding of odor quality by these receptor neurons cannot be in the simple presence or absence of activity in any one of them. Rather, odor quality may be encoded by the pattern of activity which invariably arises across an ensemble of receptor neurons, each having its own distribution of sensitivities.

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