Document Detail

Testing the sorption hypothesis in olfaction: a limited role for sniff strength in shaping primary odor representations during behavior.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23283324     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The acquisition of sensory information during behavior shapes the neural representation, central processing, and perception of external stimuli. In mammals, a sniff represents the basic unit of odor sampling, yet how sniffing shapes odor representations remains poorly understood. Perhaps the earliest hypothesis of the role of sniffing in olfaction arises from the fact that odorants with different physicochemical properties exhibit different patterns of deposition across the olfactory epithelium, and that these patterns are differentially affected by flow rate. However, whether sniff flow rates shape odor representations during natural sniffing remains untested, and whether animals make use of odorant sorption-airflow relationships as part of an active odor-sampling strategy remains unclear. We tested these ideas in the intact rat using a threefold approach. First, we asked whether sniff strength shapes odor representations in vivo by imaging from olfactory receptor neuron (ORN) terminals during controlled changes in inhalation flow in the anesthetized rat. Second, we asked whether sniff strength shapes odor representations by imaging from ORNs during natural sniffing in the awake rat. Third, we asked whether rats actively modulate sniff strength during an odor discrimination task. We found that, while artificial changes in flow rate can alter ORN responses, sniff strength has negligible effect on odor representations during natural sniffing, and behaving rats do not modulate flow rate to improve odor discrimination. These data suggest that modulating sniff strength does not shape odor representations sufficiently to be part of a strategy for active odor sensing in the behaving animal.
Tristan Cenier; John P McGann; Yusuke Tsuno; Justus V Verhagen; Matt Wachowiak
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience     Volume:  33     ISSN:  1529-2401     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Neurosci.     Publication Date:  2013 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-01-03     Completed Date:  2013-03-12     Revised Date:  2013-07-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8102140     Medline TA:  J Neurosci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  79-92     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Biology, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Action Potentials / physiology
Behavior, Animal / physiology*
Discrimination (Psychology) / physiology*
Olfactory Pathways / physiology*
Olfactory Receptor Neurons / physiology*
Rats, Long-Evans
Reaction Time / physiology
Smell / physiology*
Grant Support

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