City Research Online

Structure and flexibility in cortical representations of odour space

Pashkovski, S., Iurilli, G., Brann, D., Chicharro, D. ORCID: 0000-0002-4038-258X, Drummey, K., Franks, K. M., Panzeri, S. and Datta, S. R. (2020). Structure and flexibility in cortical representations of odour space. Nature, 583, pp. 253-258. doi: 10.1038/s41586-020-2451-1

Abstract

The cortex organizes sensory information to enable discrimination and generalization1-4. As systematic representations of chemical odour space have not yet been described in the olfactory cortex, it remains unclear how odour relationships are encoded to place chemically distinct but similar odours, such as lemon and orange, into perceptual categories, such as citrus5-7. Here, by combining chemoinformatics and multiphoton imaging in the mouse, we show that both the piriform cortex and its sensory inputs from the olfactory bulb represent chemical odour relationships through correlated patterns of activity. However, cortical odour codes differ from those in the bulb: cortex more strongly clusters together representations for related odours, selectively rewrites pairwise odour relationships, and better matches odour perception. The bulb-to-cortex transformation depends on the associative network originating within the piriform cortex, and can be reshaped by passive odour experience. Thus, cortex actively builds a structured representation of chemical odour space that highlights odour relationships; this representation is similar across individuals but remains plastic, suggesting a means through which the olfactory system can assign related odour cues to common and yet personalized percepts.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Users are permitted to view, print, copy, download and text and data-mine the content, for the purposes of academic research, subject always to the full conditions of use. Under no circumstances may the Author Manuscript be shared or distributed under a Creative Commons, or other form of open access license, nor may it be reformatted or enhanced.
Publisher Keywords: Animals; Male; Mice; Odorants; Olfactory Bulb; Olfactory Cortex; Olfactory Pathways; Olfactory Perception; Organic Chemicals; Smell
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Q Science > QD Chemistry
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Departments: School of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering > Computer Science
Date available in CRO: 09 Nov 2021 10:39
Date deposited: 9 November 2021
Date of acceptance: 2 April 2020
Date of first online publication: 1 July 2020
URI: https://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/27076
[img]
Preview
Text - Accepted Version
Download (4MB) | Preview

Export

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login