Olfactory cortical neurons read out a relative time code in the olfactory bulb

Rafi Haddad, Anne Lanjuin, Linda Madisen, Hongkui Zeng, Venkatesh N. Murthy, Naoshige Uchida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

138 Scopus citations

Abstract

Odor stimulation evokes complex spatiotemporal activity in the olfactory bulb, suggesting that both the identity of activated neurons and the timing of their activity convey information about odors. However, whether and how downstream neurons decipher these temporal patterns remains unknown. We addressed this question by measuring the spiking activity of downstream neurons while optogenetically stimulating two foci in the olfactory bulb with varying relative timing in mice. We found that the overall spike rates of piriform cortex neurons (PCNs) were sensitive to the relative timing of activation. Posterior PCNs showed higher sensitivity to relative input times than neurons in the anterior piriform cortex. In contrast, olfactory bulb neurons rarely showed such sensitivity. Thus, the brain can transform a relative time code in the periphery into a firing rate-based representation in central brain areas, providing evidence for the relevance of a relative time-based code in the olfactory bulb.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)949-957
Number of pages9
JournalNature Neuroscience
Volume16
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank C. Dulac (Harvard University) for sharing resources generously, comments on the manuscript and providing Tbet-cre; ChR2loxP/loxP mice (generated by A.L.). We thank E. Soucy and T. Sato for technical support and D.F. Albeanu and A.K. Dhawale for technical advice. We thank Y. Ben-Shaul, C. Poo, N. Eshel and J.Y. Cohen for their comments on the manuscript. This work was supported by Human Frontier Science Program (R.H.), a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Collaborative Innovation Award, a Smith Family New Investigator Award, the Alfred Sloan Foundation and the Milton Fund (N.U.), and a grant from the US National Institutes of Health (V.N.M.).

Funding

We thank C. Dulac (Harvard University) for sharing resources generously, comments on the manuscript and providing Tbet-cre; ChR2loxP/loxP mice (generated by A.L.). We thank E. Soucy and T. Sato for technical support and D.F. Albeanu and A.K. Dhawale for technical advice. We thank Y. Ben-Shaul, C. Poo, N. Eshel and J.Y. Cohen for their comments on the manuscript. This work was supported by Human Frontier Science Program (R.H.), a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Collaborative Innovation Award, a Smith Family New Investigator Award, the Alfred Sloan Foundation and the Milton Fund (N.U.), and a grant from the US National Institutes of Health (V.N.M.).

FundersFunder number
Milton Fund
Smith Family
National Institutes of Health
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication DisordersR01DC011291
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
Human Frontier Science Program

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