Odors in olfactory bulb are defined by a short discrete temporal sequence: recognition by brute-force conversion to a spatial pattern (chunking) [article]

Honi Sanders, Brian Kolterman, Roman Shusterman, Dmitry Rinberg, Alexei A. Koulakov, John Lisman
2014 arXiv   pre-print
Mitral cells, the principal neurons in the olfactory bulb, respond to odorants by firing bursts of action potentials called sharp events. A given cell produces a sharp event at a fixed phase during the sniff cycle in response to a given odor; different cells have different phases. The olfactory bulb response to an odor is thus a sequence of sharp events. Here, we show that sharp event onset is biased toward certain phases of the ongoing gamma frequency oscillation. Thus, the signature of an
more » ... is a discrete sequence. The fact that this sequence is relatively short suggests a new class of "brute force" solutions to the problem of odor recognition: cortex may contain a small number of modules, each forming a persistent snapshot of what occurs in a certain gamma cycle. Towards the end of the sniff, the collection of these snapshots forms a spatial pattern that could be recognized by standard attractor-based network mechanisms. We demonstrate the feasibility of this solution with simulations of simple network architectures having modules that represent gamma-cycle specific information. Thus "brute force" solutions for converting a discrete temporal sequence into a spatial pattern (chunking) are neurally plausible.
arXiv:1405.5617v2 fatcat:7cn3nmbyrbdo7k4t64dxkh6q4m