Activity-dependent memory organization in the early mammalian olfactory pathway for decorrelation, noise reduction, and sparseness-enhancement
© licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2011
Published: 18 July 2011
Animals are able to distinguish a large number of different odors (Axel, 1995) and this is crucial in social interaction, feeding, and mating. This discriminatory performance is due to a series of information processing steps at several levels of the olfactory system. Epithelial olfactory receptors (ORs), expressed on celia of olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs), bind to different odour molecules. Axons of ORNs converge by OR type into neuropil structures in the olfactory bulb (OB), called glomeruli, and pass signals to M/T cells. A striking feature of the olfactory bulb is its plasticity, including formation of connections. 
The simulated network consisted of 128 odourant receptor types and 10 ORNs per odourant receptor type.
It can be seen that the axons cluster together on the way to the glomerular layer and that active neurons become more clustered in the glomerular layer with respect to the ORN layer, where activity is fuzzily distributed.
European FP7-ICT project NeuroChem.
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