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Journal Article

Mechanisms of odor discrimination: neurophysiological and behavioral approaches


Friedrich,  Rainer W.
Department of Biomedical Optics, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;

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Friedrich, R. W. (2006). Mechanisms of odor discrimination: neurophysiological and behavioral approaches. Trends in Neurosciences, 29(1), 40-47. doi:10.1016/j.tins.2005.10.004.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002A-E879-2
Understanding how complex neuronal circuits in the brain perform advanced computations is a central question in neuroscience that can only be addressed using a combination of approaches, including neurophysiology and behavioral analyses. In the olfactory bulb, neurophysiological studies have revealed that neuronal interactions reorganize odor−evoked activity patterns so that their discriminability is enhanced. Recent behavioral studies have examined the role of this computation in odor discrimination tasks and generated working models of behavioral odor discrimination strategies. The results appear consistent with a role of pattern reorganization in odor discrimination behavior but further studies are necessary to resolve this issue. These studies advance the understanding of neuronal circuit function in the olfactory bulb and illustrate benefits and caveats of comparing behavioral and neurophysiological results