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Book Chapter

Plasticity and coding mechanisms in the insect antennal lobe

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Carlsson, M., & Hansson, B. (2003). Plasticity and coding mechanisms in the insect antennal lobe. In G. J. Blomquist, & R. G. Vogt (Eds.), Insect Pheromone Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (pp. 699-729). London: Elsevier Academic Press.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0014-748C-A
This chapter discusses the history of antennal lobes (AL) research and the basic knowledge regarding the function of neurons and correlations between structure and function. The chapter focuses on three different themes: glomerular patterns formed after odor stimulation, dynamic processes, and plasticity in olfactory coding. Information is processed in many aspects from the AL. Glomeruli acts as functional units with respect to the input signals, where neurons arborizing in different glomeruli exhibit different but overlapping molecular tuning. Hormone levels and age affect the central responses to pheromones with no effect on “ordinary” neurons. The detection and coding of a predictable signal, as the sexual pheromone, make use of a system with extremely narrow receptive bandwidth. This helps in excluding overlap with even structurally related compounds. The food odors are coupled with an appetitive stimulus to initiate a behavioral response. The responses to sexual pheromones are innate, and even the first encounter of an odor plume excites the animal and initiates a search behavior. Age and hormones may also regulate sexual behavior in the animals so that minimal energy is wasted.