Scientific article

Odor representations in the olfactory bulb evolve after the first breath and persist as an odor afterimage

Publication date2013

Rodents can discriminate odors in one breath, and mammalian olfaction research has thus focused on the first breath. However, sensory representations dynamically change during and after stimuli. To investigate these dynamics, we recorded spike trains from the olfactory bulb of awake, head-fixed mice and found that some mitral cells' odor representations changed following the first breath and others continued after odor cessation. Population analysis revealed that these postodor responses contained odor- and concentration-specific information—an odor afterimage. Using calcium imaging, we found that most olfactory glomerular activity was restricted to the odor presentation, implying that the afterimage is not primarily peripheral. The odor afterimage was not dependent on odorant physicochemical properties. To artificially induce aftereffects, we photostimulated mitral cells using channelrhodopsin and recorded centrally maintained persistent activity. The strength and persistence of the afterimage was dependent on the duration of both artificial and natural stimulation. In summary, we show that the odor representation evolves after the first breath and that there is a centrally maintained odor afterimage, similar to other sensory systems. These dynamics may help identify novel odorants in complex environments.

  • Multielectrode recording
  • Network dynamics
  • Optogenetics
  • Mouse olfaction
  • Swiss National Science Foundation - PP0033_119169, PP00P3_139189
  • European Commission - From neurons to behavior: analysis of the mechanisms underlying sensory coding and plasticity in chemical senses [243344]
Citation (ISO format)
PATTERSON, Michaël, LAGIER, Samuel, CARLETON, Alan. Odor representations in the olfactory bulb evolve after the first breath and persist as an odor afterimage. In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2013, vol. 110, n° 35, p. E3340–E3349. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1303873110
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0027-8424

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