Noradrenergic and cholinergic modulation of olfactory bulb sensory processing

Front Behav Neurosci. 2012 Aug 13:6:52. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2012.00052. eCollection 2012.


Neuromodulation in sensory perception serves important functions such as regulation of signal to noise ratio, attention, and modulation of learning and memory. Neuromodulators in specific sensory areas often have highly similar cellular, but distinct behavioral effects. To address this issue, we here review the function and role of two neuromodulators, acetylcholine (Ach) and noradrenaline (NE) for olfactory sensory processing in the adult main olfactory bulb. We first describe specific bulbar sensory computations, review cellular effects of each modulator and then address their specific roles in bulbar sensory processing. We finally put these data in a behavioral and computational perspective.

Keywords: acetylcholine; neuromodulation; noradrenaline; olfactory bulb.