Discrimination of odors in olfactory bulb, pyriform-amygdaloid areas, and orbitofrontal cortex of the monkey

J Neurophysiol. 1975 Sep;38(5):1284-96. doi: 10.1152/jn.1975.38.5.1284.

Abstract

In the orbitofrontal olfactory area (LPOF) which was delineated in a previous paper, the capacity for odor discrimination was studied and compared with that in the anterior pyriform cortex (AP), the medial portion of the amygdala (MA), and the olfactory bulb (OB). Unanesthetized monkeys were used and eight odors were applied. 1. In the OB, 12.5% of the cells responded to only one odor, and the cells which responded to five odors were most numerous (25%). The total of the cells which responded to two, three, and four odors was 52%, which was less than the total of the cells responding to three, four, and five odors (67.5%). A small number oc cells responded to all eight odors (2.5%). The responses were classified as an increase (+type), a decrease (-type), or no change (no-type) in the rate of spike discharge. 2. In the AP and MA, no difference in the response patterns was found. The cells which responded to only one odor were 12.3% of the total, and the cells which responded to three different kinds of odors were most numerous (34.3%). The total of the cells responding to two, three, and four odors was 80%, much more than that in the OB. In addition, no cell responded to all eight odors. Concerning the response types, an increase followed by a decrease, or vice versa, in the rate of spike discharges (mixed-type) was observed which did not appear in the OB. Thus, an advance was found in the processing of olfactory information when compared with the OB. 3. A most striking finding in the LPOF was that 50% of the cells responded to only one odor. The cells which responded to two, three, and four odors decreased in this order, and no cell responded to more than five odors. These cells never responded to light or sound. 4. Using three very similar odors and five very different odors, it was apparent that the ability to discriminate odors of the same category is far more advanced in the LPOF than in the lower olfactory areas; and, in contrast, the lower olfactory areas also play a significant role in the discrimination of odors which belong to different categories. 5. It was concluded that the capacity for odor discrimination definitely improves along the olfactory nervous system from the lower to the higher areas. It is highly probable that a fine and sepcific discrimination of odors is performed in the LPOF.

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / physiology
  • Animals
  • Auditory Perception / physiology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Central Nervous System / physiology*
  • Electrophysiology
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology
  • Haplorhini
  • Limbic System / physiology
  • Male
  • Olfactory Bulb / physiology
  • Olfactory Pathways / physiology*
  • Smell / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology