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Journal Article

Odor- and context-dependent modulation of mitral cell activity in behaving rats


Laurent,  Gilles
Neural systems Department, Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, Max Planck Society;

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Kay, L. M., & Laurent, G. (1999). Odor- and context-dependent modulation of mitral cell activity in behaving rats. Nat Neurosci, 2(11), 1003-9. doi:10.1038/14801.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0008-07F6-B
The projections and odor responses of mammalian olfactory receptor neurons, as well as the physiology of the bulb's principal neurons-the mitral cells (MCs)-are known from studies in slices and anesthetized animals. In behaving rats trained to discriminate between two odors associated with different reinforcers, we examined MC responses following alternated odor-reinforcer pairings. Whereas only 11% of the recorded MCs showed changes in odor-selective firing rate during the odor-sampling phase, 94% of MCs modulated activity during specific behaviors surrounding odor sampling. These cell- and odor-selective responses were not primary sensory responses; rather, they depended (reversibly) on the predictive value of each odor. MC activity thus depends critically on efferent influences linked to the animal's experience and behavior.