Developmental broadening of inhibitory sensory maps

Nat Neurosci. 2017 Feb;20(2):189-199. doi: 10.1038/nn.4467. Epub 2016 Dec 26.


Sensory maps are created by networks of neuronal responses that vary with their anatomical position, such that representations of the external world are systematically and topographically organized in the brain. Current understanding from studying excitatory maps is that maps are sculpted and refined throughout development and/or through sensory experience. Investigating the mouse olfactory bulb, where ongoing neurogenesis continually supplies new inhibitory granule cells into existing circuitry, we isolated the development of sensory maps formed by inhibitory networks. Using in vivo calcium imaging of odor responses, we compared functional responses of both maturing and established granule cells. We found that, in contrast to the refinement observed for excitatory maps, inhibitory sensory maps became broader with maturation. However, like excitatory maps, inhibitory sensory maps are sensitive to experience. These data describe the development of an inhibitory sensory map as a network, highlighting the differences from previously described excitatory maps.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Nerve Net / growth & development*
  • Neurogenesis / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Odorants / analysis
  • Olfactory Bulb / growth & development*
  • Smell / physiology*