Scientific article

Dynamic ensemble odor coding in the mammalian olfactory bulb: sensory information at different timescales

Published inNeuron, vol. 57, no. 4, p. 586-598
Publication date2008

Neural firing discharges are often temporally patterned, but it is often ambiguous as to whether the temporal features of these patterns constitute a useful code. Here we show in the mouse olfactory bulb that ensembles of projection neurons respond with complex odor- and concentration-specific dynamic activity sequences developing below and above sniffing frequency. Based on this activity, almost optimal discrimination of presented odors was possible during single sniffs, consistent with reported behavioral data. Within a sniff cycle, slower features of the dynamics alone (>100 ms resolution, including mean firing rate) were sufficient for maximal discrimination. A smaller amount of information was also observed in faster features down to 20-40 ms resolution. Therefore, mitral cell ensemble activity contains information at different timescales that could be separately or complementarily exploited by downstream brain centers to make odor discriminations. Our results also support suggestive analogies in the dynamics of odor representations between insects and mammals.

  • Acetates/pharmacology
  • Action Potentials/drug effects/physiology
  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping/*methods
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • *Odors
  • Olfactory Bulb/drug effects/*physiology
  • Sensory Thresholds/drug effects/physiology
  • Smell/drug effects/*physiology
  • Time Factors
Citation (ISO format)
BATHELLIER, Brice et al. Dynamic ensemble odor coding in the mammalian olfactory bulb: sensory information at different timescales. In: Neuron, 2008, vol. 57, n° 4, p. 586–598. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2008.02.011
Updates (1)
ISSN of the journal0896-6273

Technical informations

Creation03/27/2012 9:23:55 AM
First validation03/27/2012 9:23:55 AM
Update time03/14/2023 5:21:14 PM
Status update03/14/2023 5:21:14 PM
Last indexation08/28/2023 9:19:56 PM
All rights reserved by Archive ouverte UNIGE and the University of GenevaunigeBlack