Olfactory Representations by Drosophila Mushroom Body Neurons

Turner, G. C., Bazhenov, M., Laurent, G. (February 2008) Olfactory Representations by Drosophila Mushroom Body Neurons. Journal of Neurophysiology, 99. 734 - 746. ISSN 0022-3077

URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18094099
DOI: 10.1152/jn.01283.2007


Learning and memory has been studied extensively in Drosophila, using behavioral, molecular and genetic approaches. These studies have identified the mushroom body as essential for the formation and retrieval of olfactory memories. We investigated odor responses of the principal neurons of the mushroom body, the Kenyon cells (KCs), in Drosophila, using whole-cell recordings in vivo. KC responses to odors were highly selective, and thus sparse, compared to those of their direct inputs, the antennal lobe projection neurons (PNs). We examined the mechanisms that might underlie this transformation and identified at least three contributing factors: (i) excitatory synaptic potentials (from PNs) decay rapidly, curtailing temporal integration; (ii) PN convergence onto individual KCs is low (~10 PNs per KC on average), and (iii) KC firing thresholds are high. Sparse activity is thought to be useful in structures involved in memory, in part because sparseness tends to reduce representation overlaps. By comparing activity patterns evoked by the same odors across olfactory receptor neurons and across KCs, we show that representations of different odors do indeed become less correlated as they progress through the olfactory system.

Item Type: Paper
Additional Information:
Subjects: organism description > animal > insect > Drosophila
organism description > animal behavior > learning
organism description > animal behavior > memory
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > tissues types and functions > mushroom body
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > tissues types and functions > neural networks
organism description > animal behavior > olfactory
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Turner lab
Depositing User: CSHL Librarian
Date: February 2008
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2012 14:47
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2013 16:12
Related URLs:
URI: https://repository.cshl.edu/id/eprint/26143

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