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Encoding of Mixtures in a Simple Olfactory System

Shen, Kai and Tootoonian, Sina and Laurent, Gilles (2013) Encoding of Mixtures in a Simple Olfactory System. Neuron, 80 (5). pp. 1246-1262. ISSN 0896-6273. PMCID PMC3858500. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2013.08.026.

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Natural odors are usually mixtures; yet, humans and animals can experience them as unitary percepts. Olfaction also enables stimulus categorization and generalization. We studied how these computations are performed with the responses of 168 locust antennal lobe projection neurons (PNs) to varying mixtures of two monomolecular odors, and of 174 PNs and 209 mushroom body Kenyon cells (KCs) to mixtures of up to eight monomolecular odors. Single- PN responses showed strong hypoadditivity and population trajectories clustered by odor concentration and mixture similarity. KC responses were much sparser on average than those of PNs and often signaled the presence of single components in mixtures. Linear classifiers could read out the responses of both populations in single time bins to perform odor identification, categorization, and generalization. Our results suggest that odor representations in the mushroom body may result from competing optimization constraints to facilitate memorization (sparseness) while enabling identification, classification, and generalization.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Laurent, Gilles0000-0002-2296-114X
Additional Information:© 2013 Elsevier Inc. Accepted: August 20, 2013; Published: November 7, 2013. We thank Anusha Narayan, Ingmar Riedel-Kruse, Ueli Rutishauser, and Viola Priesemann for fruitful discussions and comments on the manuscript. We thank Thanos Siapas and members of his lab for providing wire tetrodes. Funded by the National Institute of Deafness and Communication Disorders (USA), the Max Planck Society (Germany), and a Canadian NSERC PGS-M fellowship (S.T.). A link to our complete experimental data set and MATLAB code is provided in the Supplemental Information.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Institute on Deafness and Communication DisordersUNSPECIFIED
Max Planck SocietyUNSPECIFIED
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:5
PubMed Central ID:PMC3858500
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20131203-145023960
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Official Citation:Shen et al., Encoding of Mixtures in a Simple Olfactory System, Neuron (2013),
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:42805
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:04 Dec 2013 17:40
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 16:28

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