Home Research BCCN I Project Details B1 - Computational role of glomerular and reciprocal synapses in the olfactory bulb for the formation of an olfactory map and olfactory learning
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B1 - Computational role of glomerular and reciprocal synapses in the olfactory bulb for the formation of an olfactory map and olfactory learning

Detlev Schild and Reiner Kree

Over the last decade numerous olfactory receptors have been characterized at the molecular level and considerable information has been gained regarding the biophysical transduction and coding mechanisms in olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) (Schild and Restrepo 1998). One major problem in studying olfactory coding in vertebrates is the cribriform plate between the olfactory mucosa and the olfactory bulb. This has hampered the development of slice preparations of the compound system mucosa/bulb. However, we have recently established a stable nose-brain slice preparation that allows patch clamping and functional imaging at cellular and even synaptic level in both olfactory mucosa and olfactory bulb. This prep allows in particular to stimulate the system in a physiological manner and record the spatio-temporal synaptic and neuronal response patterns corresponding to the respective stimuli (Manzini et al. 2002). The underlying morphological structures in Xenopus tadpoles have recently been studied (Nezlin and Schild 2000, 2003). This work is to be extended to questions of plasticity and learning as generation mechanisms of an olfactory map. One of the PIs had worked on the topic of olfactory maps more than a decade ago (Schild 1989, Riedel and Schild 1992, Schild and Riedel 1992), the other on cognitive properties of artificial neural networks with biologically inspired architectures and learning rules (Kree and Zippelius 1988, Kree and Zippelius 1990, Koster et al. 1994).

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