Sensory neuron input to the olfactory bulb (OB) was activated precisely for different durations with blue light in mice expressing channelrhodopsin-2 in olfactory sensory neurons. Behaviorally the mice discriminated differences of 10 ms in duration of direct glomerular activation. In addition, a subset of mitral/tufted cells in the OB of awake mice responded tonically therefore conveying information on stimulus duration. Our study provides evidence that duration of the input to glomeruli not synchronized to sniffing is detected. This potent cue may be used to obtain information on puffs in odor plumes.
Keywords: olfactory; puffs.
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