Correlated glomerular convergence and latency coding of odors in mitral cells
- Detlev Schild1
© Schild; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014
Published: 16 April 2014
Behavioral responses to olfactory stimuli can happen after less than half a second after stimulus arrival. Given ORN spike rates in the order of 0 to 15 spikes/s it appears unlikely that average spike rates play a major role for the detection of the odor and the bahavioral response to it. We therefore assumed the other extreme, i.e. that the first spike of an odor response of a mitral cells is important for detection and quality coding (which does not exclude other effects). Using activity contrast imaging (ACI, ) we could indeed show that the response latency vectors code odor quality with high fidelity  in virtually synchronous ensembles of mitral cells . We hypothesize that the first spike of a mitral cell is somehow induced by correlated glomerular input. This view is strengthened by the existence of bifurcations in ORN axons so far seen in Xenopus  and mice . Such bifurcations obviously lead to hardwired correlations in an ontogenetical situation where, due to a relatively low number of axons, stimulus-induced, correlated ORN activities are sparse or absent.
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