Olfactory encoding within the insect antennal lobe: The emergence and role of higher order temporal correlations in the dynamics of antennal lobe spiking activity

Mainak Patel, Aaditya Rangan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

In this review, we focus on the antennal lobe (AL) of three insect species – the fruit fly, sphinx moth, and locust. We first review the experimentally elucidated anatomy and physiology of the early olfactory system of each species; empirical studies of AL activity, however, often focus on assessing firing rates (averaged over time scales of about 100 ms), and hence the AL odor code is often analyzed in terms of a temporally evolving vector of firing rates. However, such a perspective necessarily misses the possibility of higher order temporal correlations in spiking activity within a single cell and across multiple cells over shorter time scales (of about 10 ms). Hence, we then review our prior theoretical work, where we constructed biophysically detailed, species-specific AL models within the fly, moth, and locust, finding that in each case higher order temporal correlations in spiking naturally emerge from model dynamics (i.e., without a prioriincorporation of elements designed to produce correlated activity). We therefore use our theoretical work to argue the perspective that temporal correlations in spiking over short time scales, which have received little experimental attention to-date, may provide valuable coding dimensions (complementing the coding dimensions provided by the vector of firing rates) that nature has exploited in the encoding of odors within the AL. We further argue that, if the AL does indeed utilize temporally correlated activity to represent odor information, such an odor code could be naturally and easily deciphered within the Mushroom Body.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number110700
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Volume522
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 7 2021

Keywords

  • Antennal lobe
  • Correlations
  • Insect olfaction
  • Network dynamics
  • Neuronal networks
  • Oscillations
  • Temporal binding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Applied Mathematics

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