One of the major goals of neuroscience is to understand how activity in specific brain areas represents sensory input and contributes to perception. The olfactory code should describe how information about odorant molecules is transformed into neural responses and ultimately behavioral responses. Understanding that code will allow us to predict the perception of the odorant from neural responses. Previously, we found that Mitral/Tufted cell odor responses locked to the sniff cycle and exhibit very high temporal precision that has not been previously observed in the olfactory system (Shusterman 2011) and the mammalian olfactory system can read and interpret temporal patterns at this time scales (Smear 2011).
Now we study how does olfactory system processing time-varying information. We developed an odor delivery system that allows us switch between odor concentrations on the single sniff scale (Bizer et al. in preparation) and found representation of changes in odor concentration already at the level on Olfactory Bulb (Parabucki et al. 2017).
M/T cells explicitly compute changes in odor concentration. This signal may guide odor based navigational decisions.
Model based on odor concentration kinetics in the intranasal cavity can explain MT cells response variability and generate a sniff invariant odor code.
Our manifold allows switching and stabilizing concentrations on a single sniff basis in ~ 25-40 ms.
Using opogenetic stimulation we study functional difefrence between MT cells connected to the same glomerulus.