Contributions of topography and parallel processing to odor coding in the vertebrate olfactory pathway

Trends Neurosci. 1991 Feb;14(2):79-85. doi: 10.1016/0166-2236(91)90025-p.


Odor information appears to be encoded by activity distributed across many neurons at each level in the olfactory pathway. Thus olfactory circuits function as parallel distributed processors. New methods for observing distributed activity in such systems permit computer simulations to be constructed that are constrained by patterns of activity observed in the real system. Analysis of the system using a combination of physiological measurements and computational approaches might elucidate the principles by which odors are discriminated.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Odorants*
  • Olfactory Bulb / physiology
  • Olfactory Pathways / physiology*
  • Urodela / physiology