"Odor modality is transmitted to higher brain regions from the olfactory bulb"
Smelling is key for many cognitive and behavioral tasks and is particularly unique having two modes: through the nasal cavity from the front (sniffing) or rear (eating), i.e., orthonasal and retronasal, respectively. Little is known about the differences in how olfactory bulb (OB) cells process odor information between these two modes (ortho/retro). Based on multi-electrode array recordings in rat OB, we find significant differences between ortho and retro spiking statistics – the mode (ortho/retro) is encoded. Using GABA_A agonists and antagonists, we find intermediate levels of inhibition give the best average decoding accuracy of ortho vs retro odors. Our computational models show how inhibition effects decoding accuracy.
Additional authors: Michelle Craft, Andrea Barreiro, Shree Hari Gatum, Woodrow Shew