A primacy code for odor identity

Wilson, C. D., Serrano, G. O., Koulakov, A. A., Rinberg, D. (November 2017) A primacy code for odor identity. Nat Commun, 8 (1). p. 1477. ISSN 2041-1723

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URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29133907
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-01432-4


Humans can identify visual objects independently of view angle and lighting, words independently of volume and pitch, and smells independently of concentration. The computational principles underlying invariant object recognition remain mostly unknown. Here we propose that, in olfaction, a small and relatively stable set comprised of the earliest activated receptors forms a code for concentration-invariant odor identity. One prediction of this "primacy coding" scheme is that decisions based on odor identity can be made solely using early odor-evoked neural activity. Using an optogenetic masking paradigm, we define the sensory integration time necessary for odor identification and demonstrate that animals can use information occurring <100 ms after inhalation onset to identify odors. Using multi-electrode array recordings of odor responses in the olfactory bulb, we find that concentration-invariant units respond earliest and at latencies that are within this behaviorally-defined time window. We propose a computational model demonstrating how such a code can be read by neural circuits of the olfactory system.

Item Type: Paper
Subjects: organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > tissues types and functions > neural networks
organism description > animal behavior > olfactory
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > tissues types and functions > olfactory bulb
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Koulakov lab
Depositing User: Matt Covey
Date: 14 November 2017
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2017 21:02
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2017 19:49
PMCID: PMC5684307
Related URLs:
URI: https://repository.cshl.edu/id/eprint/35672

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