Sensory Perception

Representation of Odor in the Brain

Science's STKE  20 Jan 2004:
Vol. 2004, Issue 216, pp. tw23-TW23
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2162004TW23

Molecular and imaging experiments have expanded our understanding of the functional anatomy of the Drosophila olfactory system, in particular by revealing many organizational parallels with the mammalian olfactory bulb. However, until now, the single-neuron electrophysiology needed to bridge the gap between genes and behavior in Drosophila has been lacking. Wilson et al. succeeded in carrying out whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from Drosophila antennal lobe neurons in vivo. They found that projection neurons are tuned considerably more broadly and produced more complex responses than their afferent olfactory sensory neurons.

R. I. Wilson, G. C. Turner, G. Laurent, Transformation of olfactory representations in the Drosophila antennal lobe. Science 303, 366-370 (2004). [Abstract] [Full Text]