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Brain Res. 1989 Jan 30;478(2):257-68.

Modulations of EEG activity in the entorhinal cortex and forebrain olfactory areas during odour sampling.

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  • 1Department of Experimental Zoology, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


With the aim of determining a possible role of the entorhinal cortex (EC) in the processing of olfactory information, its electrical activity was recorded during different types of odour sampling behaviour. The EC spontaneous field potentials (EEGs) were related to those recorded simultaneously from the more rostrally lying olfactory bulb (OB) and prepiriform cortex (PPC), using coherence functions. The coherence values are measures of coupling between two neuronal populations. Auto- and coherence spectra were characterized by a peak in the beta-band (35-36 Hz) and another in the 16-20 Hz band. For the beta-peak of the PPC-EC coherence it was shown that both the maximal values and the median frequency decrease during the first 0.5-1.0 s of a trial in a two-choice odour discrimination task. These transients differed significantly for CS+ and CS- trials. However, no such difference was observed during exploratory sniffing at the same pair of odorants. It was concluded that during sniffing the degree of coupling of the EC with the PPC depends on the behavioural context but not on the quality of the odorants. As regards the 16-20 Hz components it was shown, using bispectral analysis, that these components represent the 1/2 subharmonic of the beta-components. The subharmonic components were enhanced during the initiation of sniffing. This means that the neural networks of OB, PPC and EC have non-linear dynamic properties. These networks show different modes of oscillatory behaviour, characteristic of the restful state and of the active sniffing state. Theoretical implications of these experimental results are discussed. In conclusion, it was demonstrated that modulations with sniffing behaviour are present in the beta-EEG components and their subharmonics in the olfactory brain areas including the EC. This indicates that the latter is involved in processes of the evaluation of olfactory cues in relation to the animal's behaviour.

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