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Magn Reson Med. 2005 Aug;54(2):443-8.

Adaptation in the rodent olfactory bulb measured by fMRI.

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Department of Neurobiology, Magnetic Resonance Research Center, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.


Effective evaluation of the odor environment necessitates the ability to attenuate responses to potent background odors in favor of novel and less robust stimuli. Olfactory receptor neuron studies suggest that some of this adaptation takes place in the primary sensory neurons, but the more extensive adaptation seen in higher cortical areas implies the involvement of additional neural mechanisms. At 7.0 T, high-resolution fMRI was used to assess the response of the rodent olfactory bulb, the most peripheral cortical structure involved in olfactory processing, to a variety of odor stimuli. The results suggest that there are additional regulatory mechanisms in the olfactory bulb that result in greater adaptation in deeper areas than that seen in sensory receptors alone and that the resultant adaptation is positively affected by increasing stimulus duration and concentration and decreasing recovery time. The implications of these findings for the integration of peripheral input with perception are discussed.

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