Coding odor identity and odor value in awake rodents

Prog Brain Res. 2014;208:205-22. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-63350-7.00008-5.


In the last decade, drastic changes in the understanding of the role of the olfactory bulb and piriform cortex in odor detection have taken place through awake behaving recording in rodents. It is clear that odor responses in mitral and granule cells are strikingly different in the olfactory bulb of anesthetized versus awake animals. In addition, sniff recording has evidenced that mitral cell responses to odors during the sniff can convey information on the odor identity and sniff phase. Moreover, we review studies that show that the mitral cell conveys information on not only odor identity but also whether the odor is rewarded or not (odor value). Finally, we discuss how the substantial increase in awake behaving recording raises questions for future studies.

Keywords: anesthetized; awake behaving; olfaction; olfactory bulb; piriform cortex; sniff.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • Odorants*
  • Olfactory Bulb / cytology
  • Olfactory Bulb / physiology*
  • Olfactory Pathways / physiology*
  • Rodentia
  • Sensory Receptor Cells / physiology
  • Smell / physiology*
  • Wakefulness / physiology*