Single Cell Activities and the Olfactory Code

  • André Holley
  • Patricia Duchamp-Viret
Conference paper
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 39)


This presentation is aimed at discussing what is known about odour representation in neural unitary activities of olfactory structures and especially in the olfactory bulb. Odour molecules flowing in the nasal cavity cause an alteration of the olfactory bulb neuron activity which is communicated to other neuronal populations which react according to their own properties and their particular connection patterns, resulting in perception. Usually, the altered activity is called a response and this response is thought to specify relevant characteristics of the stimulus, that is information. This information is coded in the sense that its multiple representations in different structures are connected to each other through transformation rules which are what we term codes. This way of describing the function of a sensory system presents several advantages, even though other expressions can be preferred (see for instance Skarda and Freeman, 1987 for a description in terms of self-organizing processes).


Receptor Cell Olfactory Bulb Piriform Cortex Mitral Cell Isoamyl Acetate 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • André Holley
    • 1
  • Patricia Duchamp-Viret
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Physiologie NeurosensorielleUA CNRS 180 Université Claude BernardVilleurbanneFrance

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