Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
J Neurosci. 2010 Feb 24;30(8):3013-21. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.6003-09.2010.

Smelling sounds: olfactory-auditory sensory convergence in the olfactory tubercle.

Author information

  • 1Emotional Brain Institute, Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, New York 10962, USA. dwesson@nki.rfmh.org


Historical and psychophysical literature has demonstrated a perceptual interplay between olfactory and auditory stimuli-the neural mechanisms of which are not understood. Here, we report novel findings revealing that the early olfactory code is subjected to auditory cross-modal influences. In vivo extracellular recordings from the olfactory tubercle, a trilaminar structure within the basal forebrain, of anesthetized mice revealed that olfactory tubercle single units selectively respond to odors-with 65% of units showing significant odor-evoked activity. Remarkably, 19% of olfactory tubercle single units also showed robust responses to an auditory tone. Furthermore, 29% of single units tested displayed supraadditive or suppressive responses to the simultaneous presentation of odor and tone, suggesting cross-modal modulation. In contrast, olfactory bulb units did not show significant responses to tone presentation nor modulation of odor-evoked activity by tone-suggesting a lack of olfactory-auditory convergence upstream from the olfactory tubercle. Thus, the tubercle presents itself as a source for direct multimodal convergence within an early stage of odor processing and may serve as a seat for psychophysical interactions between smells and sounds.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (8)Free text

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk