Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rats Can Discriminate Odors In Milliseconds

Date:
April 9, 2008
Source:
PLoS Biology
Summary:
Imaging the olfactory bulb of awake rats reveals that odor discrimination occurs about 100 milliseconds after sensory input reaches the brain, sharply limiting the role that spike rate and temporal integration can play in coding odor identity.

Odor perception begins with an inhalation of odor molecules (odorants) to the olfactory receptor sheet within the nose. Increasing evidence is pointing towards the importance of sniffing behavior in olfactory coding. This image shows the respiratory trace (red) of a rat recorded during odor discriminations, overlaid on a main olfactory bulb calcium response map of the odorant eugenol.
Credit: Daniel Wesson et. al.

Using an ethologically relevant task -- exploratory sniffing -- Daniel Wesson and colleagues from Boston University discovered that rats are able to discriminate odors much more quickly than previously thought, in as little as 140 milliseconds.

In addition to using this natural behavioral task, the authors simultaneously used optical imaging to measure responses of neurons in the olfactory bulb, where odor signals sent from the nose are processed. Measurements of neural responses confirm that very little processing takes place in these neurons. The timing of behavioral responses to odors shows that odor discrimination must take place before the activity pattern in the olfactory bulb has fully developed.

These results led the authors to conclude that odorant identity is likely to be encoded by the sequence of responses in the olfactory bulb (rather than the pattern of peak activation or later temporal features).

Alternatively, the earliest-activated glomeruli within the olfactory bulb, which are not necessarily the most strongly activated overall, might contribute preferentially to the coding of odorant identity.

Journal reference: Wesson DW, Carey RM, Verhagen JV, Wachowiak M (2008) Rapid encoding and perception of novel odors in the rat. PLoS Biol 6(4): e82. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio. 0060082


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by PLoS Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

PLoS Biology. "Rats Can Discriminate Odors In Milliseconds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 April 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080408085505.htm>.
PLoS Biology. (2008, April 9). Rats Can Discriminate Odors In Milliseconds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080408085505.htm
PLoS Biology. "Rats Can Discriminate Odors In Milliseconds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080408085505.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

AP (July 22, 2014) An 80-year-old agave plant, which is blooming for the first and only time at a University of Michigan conservatory, will die when it's done (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

AP (July 22, 2014) Sounding alarms about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, CDC Director Tom Frieden warned Tuesday if the global community does not confront the problem soon, the world will be living in a devastating post-antibiotic era. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins