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PLoS Biol. 2014 Dec 16;12(12):e1002021. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002021. eCollection 2014 Dec.

Perception of odors linked to precise timing in the olfactory system.

Author information

1
The John B. Pierce Laboratory, New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America; Yale School of Medicine, Dept. Neurobiology, New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America.
2
Yale School of Medicine, Dept. Neurobiology, New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America.

Abstract

While the timing of neuronal activity in the olfactory bulb (OB) relative to sniffing has been the object of many studies, the behavioral relevance of timing information generated by patterned activation within the bulbar response has not been explored. Here we show, using sniff-triggered, dynamic, 2-D, optogenetic stimulation of mitral/tufted cells, that virtual odors that differ by as little as 13 ms are distinguishable by mice. Further, mice are capable of discriminating a virtual odor movie based on an optically imaged OB odor response versus the same virtual odor devoid of temporal dynamics-independently of the sniff-phase. Together with studies showing the behavioral relevance of graded glomerular responses and the response timing relative to odor sampling, these results imply that the mammalian olfactory system is capable of very high transient information transmission rates.

PMID:
25514030
PMCID:
PMC4267717
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pbio.1002021
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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