Odor concentration invariance by chemical ratio coding

Uchida, N., Mainen, Z. F. (2007) Odor concentration invariance by chemical ratio coding. Front Syst Neurosci, 1. p. 3.

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Abstract

Many animal species rely on chemical signals to extract ecologically important information from the environment. Yet in natural conditions chemical signals will frequently undergo concentration changes that produce differences in both level and pattern of activation of olfactory receptor neurons. Thus, a central problem in olfactory processing is how the system is able to recognize the same stimulus across different concentrations. To signal species identity for mate recognition, some insects use the ratio of two components in a binary chemical mixture to produce a code that is invariant to dilution. Here, using psychophysical methods, we show that rats also classify binary odor mixtures according to the molar ratios of their components, spontaneously generalizing over at least a tenfold concentration range. These results indicate that extracting chemical ratio information is not restricted to pheromone signaling and suggest a general solution for concentration-invariant odor recognition by the mammalian olfactory system.

Item Type: Paper
Additional Information: DOI 10.3389/neuro.06.003.2007 PMC2526272
Subjects: organism description > animal behavior
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > cell types and functions > cell types > neurons
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > cell types and functions > cell types > neurons
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > cell types and functions > cell types > neurons

organism description > animal behavior > odor recognition
organism description > animal > mammal > rodent > rat
organism description > animal > mammal > rodent > rat
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Depositing User: CSHL Librarian
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2011 21:20
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2011 19:58
URI: http://repository.cshl.edu/id/eprint/15266

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