Adjusting neurophysiological computations in the adult olfactory bulb

Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2006 Aug;17(4):443-53. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2006.04.011. Epub 2006 May 5.


The olfactory bulb receives signals from olfactory sensory neurons and conveys them to higher centers. The mapping of the sensory inputs generates a reproducible spatial pattern in the glomerular layer of the olfactory bulb for each odorant. Then, this restricted activation is transformed into highly distributed patterns by lateral interactions between relay neurons and local interneurons. Thus, odor information processing requires the spatial patterning of both sensory inputs and synaptic interactions. In other words, odor representation is highly dynamic and temporally orchestrated. Here, we describe how the local inhibitory network shapes the global oscillations and the precise synchronization of relay neurons. We discuss how local inhibitory interneurons transpose the spatial dimension into temporal patterning. Remarkably, this transposition is not fixed but highly flexible to continuously optimize olfactory information processing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Clocks
  • Brain Mapping
  • Electrophysiology
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology
  • Olfactory Bulb / cytology
  • Olfactory Bulb / growth & development*
  • Olfactory Bulb / physiology*
  • Olfactory Receptor Neurons / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology*