Olfactory oscillations: the what, how and what for

Trends Neurosci. 2009 Apr;32(4):207-14. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2008.11.008. Epub 2009 Feb 23.


Olfactory system oscillations play out with beautiful temporal and behavioral regularity on the oscilloscope and seem to scream 'meaning'. Always there is the fear that, although attractive, these symbols of dynamic regularity might be just seductive epiphenomena. There are now many studies that have isolated some of the neural mechanisms involved in these oscillations, and recent work argues that they are functional and even necessary at the physiological and cognitive levels. However, much remains to be done for a full understanding of their functions.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Clocks / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Olfactory Pathways / cytology
  • Olfactory Pathways / physiology*
  • Sensory Receptor Cells / physiology*