Data-driven honeybee antennal lobe model demonstrates how stimulus-onset asynchrony can aid odor segregation
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KeywordsResponse Pattern Antennal Lobe Odor Source Onset Delay Initial Odor
Insects have a remarkable ability to identify and track odor sources in multi-odor backgrounds. Recent behavioral experiments show that this ability relies on detecting millisecond stimulus asynchronies between odors that originate from different sources . Honeybees, Apis mellifera, are able to distinguish mixtures where both odors arrive at the same time (synchronous mixtures) from those where odor onsets are staggered (asynchronous mixtures). Surprisingly, this ability persists down to an onset delay of only 6 ms.
We present a detailed data-driven model of the bee antennal lobe that reproduces a large data set of experimentally observed odor responses  and demonstrate with this model that our hypothesis is consistent with the current knowledge of the olfactory circuits in the bee brain.
This work was supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/J019690/1) to TN and the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (01GQ0931) to PS and CGG.
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