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J Zhejiang Univ Sci B. 2012 Dec;13(12):1015-23. doi: 10.1631/jzus.B1200073.

Rapid odor perception in rat olfactory bulb by microelectrode array.

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Biosensor National Special Lab, Key Lab for Biomedical Engineering of Ministry of Education, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China.


Responses of 302 mitral/tufted (M/T) cells in the olfactory bulb were recorded from 42 anesthetized freely breathing rats using a 16-channel microwire electrode array. Saturated vapors of four pure chemicals, anisole, carvone, citral and isoamyl acetate were applied. After aligning spike trains to the initial phase of the inhalation after odor onset, the responses of M/T cells showed transient temporal features including excitatory and inhibitory patterns. Both odor-evoked patterns indicated that mammals recognize odors within a short respiration cycle after odor stimulus. Due to the small amount of information received from a single cell, we pooled results from all responsive M/T cells to study the ensemble activity. The firing rates of the cell ensembles were computed over 100 ms bins and population vectors were constructed. The high dimension vectors were condensed into three dimensions for visualization using principal component analysis. The trajectories of both excitatory and inhibitory cell ensembles displayed strong dynamics during odor stimulation. The distances among cluster centers were enlarged compared to those of the resting state. Thus, we presumed that pictures of odor information sent to higher brain regions were depicted and odor discrimination was completed within the first breathing cycle.

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