Coding and synaptic processing of sensory information in the glomerular layer of the olfactory bulb

Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2006 Aug;17(4):411-23. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2006.04.007. Epub 2006 May 5.


Input from olfactory receptor neurons is first organized and processed in the glomerular layer of the olfactory bulb. Olfactory glomeruli serve as functional units in coding olfactory information and contain a complex network of synaptic connections. Odor information has long been thought to be represented by spatial patterns of glomerular activation; recent work has, additionally, shown that these patterns are temporally dynamic. At the same time, recent advances in our understanding of the glomerular network suggest that glomerular processing serves to temporally sharpen these dynamics and to modulate spatial patterns of glomerular activity. We speculate that odor representations and their postsynaptic processing are tuned to and shaped by the sniffing behavior of the animal.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Models, Biological
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology*
  • Olfactory Bulb / cytology*
  • Olfactory Bulb / physiology*
  • Olfactory Pathways / physiology
  • Smell / physiology
  • Synapses / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology*