Navigation Links
Quick -- what’s that smell?

Researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center have found that taking as little as a hundred milliseconds longer to smell an odor results in more accurate identification of that odor. This seemingly simple observation has important implications regarding how olfactory information is processed by the brain. The findings appear in the August issue of Neuron.

By demonstrating a clear relationship between odor sampling time and accurate odor identification, the Monell researchers solved a controversy centering on whether the brain processes olfactory information in a similar manner to how it processes visual and auditory stimuli.

"Previous published work suggested that olfaction was different from vision and audition in lacking this fundamental property," notes senior author Alan Gelperin, PhD, a computational neuroscientist. "We now can use accumulated information about these other sensory systems to help us understand olfaction."

Exactly how the many thousands of different odorants are detected and identified remains a mystery. The human nose probably contains several hundred different types of olfactory receptors, while animals with a highly developed sense of smell - such as dog, rat, or cat - may have over a thousand different receptor types. It is thought that perception of any one odorant probably involves simultaneous stimulation of several different receptors and that an olfactory code enables identification of specific odorants by the brain. Previous experience and motivational state also interact with odorant information to influence processing and identification. It still is not known how the brain deals with all this information to let us perceive odors.

Using an approach that has provided insight into information processing by the visual and auditory systems, the Monell researchers developed a new behavioral paradigm using trained mice to ask whether longer exposure to an odor would result in more accurate identifica tion of that odor. The results indicated that the mice needed extra time to accurately identify more complex odors.

"The well-trained mouse needs almost half a second to solve a difficult olfactory discrimination task," says lead author Dmitry Rinberg, PhD. "This time window is very important as we seek to design experiments and develop models that explain what the brain is doing in the extra time it takes to identify complex odors."

Rinberg, a physicist and computational neuroscientist, comments, "The development of color television was based on extensive studies of visual sensory processing. Modern MP3 players are built based on a deep knowledge about properties of our hearing capabilities. Similarly, increased knowledge of olfactory processing has the obvious potential to open many doors, perhaps including development of electronic olfactory systems that would have capabilities such as identification of odors for medical diagnosis or detection of land mines."


'"/>

Source:Monell Chemical Senses Center


Related biology news :

1. Quick identification needed to save Floridas citrus industry from devastating disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:5/16/2017)...  Veratad Technologies, LLC ( www.veratad.com ), an innovative ... verification solutions, announced today they will participate as a ... thru May 17, 2017, in Washington D.C.,s ... Identity impacts the lives of billions ... evolving digital world, defining identity is critical to nearly ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... a global expert in SoC-based imaging and computing solutions, has developed ... the company,s hybrid codec technology. A demonstration utilizing TeraFaces ® , ... showcased during the upcoming Medtec Japan at Tokyo Big Sight April ... Vegas Convention Center April 24-27. ... Click here for an image of the M820 ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Global ... ... at a CAGR of 30.37% during the period 2017-2021. ... based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. ... the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/11/2017)... ... 11, 2017 , ... “There is an increasing consumer call ... synthetic ingredients,” said Matt Hundt, President of Third Wave Bioactives. “Combining the strong ... know-how of Biorigin will allow us to bring truly novel fermented ingredient technologies ...
(Date:8/10/2017)... ... August 09, 2017 , ... ... applications in the clinic is here. The team at Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. utilized ... medium for clinical studies. , Dr. Travis Antes, head of analytical development ...
(Date:8/10/2017)... USA (PRWEB) , ... August 09, 2017 , ... ... partnered with four international biomedical optics laboratories — the Wellman Center for Photomedicine, ... Medical Laser Center Lübeck and the Beckman Laser Institute at University of California, ...
(Date:8/10/2017)... ... August 10, 2017 , ... CNA Finance Chief Research Analyst, ... on Next Group Holdings, Inc. and see's significant opportunity in the company's plans ... cannot engage in traditional banking services. According to industry estimates, approximately 103 million ...
Breaking Biology Technology: