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Front Neuroeng. 2011 Oct 25;4:12. doi: 10.3389/fneng.2011.00012. eCollection 2011.

Detailed Characterization of Local Field Potential Oscillations and Their Relationship to Spike Timing in the Antennal Lobe of the Moth Manduca sexta.

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  • 1Department of Biology, West Virginia University Morgantown, WV, USA.


The transient oscillatory model of odor identity encoding seeks to explain how odorants with spatially overlapped patterns of input into primary olfactory networks can be discriminated. This model provides several testable predictions about the distributed nature of network oscillations and how they control spike timing. To test these predictions, 16 channel electrode arrays were placed within the antennal lobe (AL) of the moth Manduca sexta. Unitary spiking and multi site local field potential (LFP) recordings were made during spontaneous activity and in response to repeated presentations of an odor panel. We quantified oscillatory frequency, cross correlations between LFP recording sites, and spike-LFP phase relationships. We show that odor-driven AL oscillations in Manduca are frequency modulating (FM) from ∼100 to 30 Hz; this was odorant and stimulus duration dependent. FM oscillatory responses were localized to one or two recording sites suggesting a localized (perhaps glomerular) not distributed source. LFP cross correlations further demonstrated that only a small (r < 0.05) distributed and oscillatory component was present. Cross spectral density analysis demonstrated the frequency of these weakly distributed oscillations was state dependent (spontaneous activity = 25-55 Hz; odor-driven = 55-85 Hz). Surprisingly, vector strength analysis indicated that unitary phase locking of spikes to the LFP was strongest during spontaneous activity and dropped significantly during responses. Application of bicuculline, a GABA(A) receptor antagonist, significantly lowered the frequency content of odor-driven distributed oscillatory activity. Bicuculline significantly reduced spike phase locking generally, but the ubiquitous pattern of increased phase locking during spontaneous activity persisted. Collectively, these results indicate that oscillations perform poorly as a stimulus-mediated spike synchronizing mechanism for Manduca and hence are incongruent with the transient oscillatory model.


GABAA; antennal lobe; odor coding; olfaction; olfactory bulb; oscillations; synchrony

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