NB & CNS Seminar - Matt Wachowiak | Tuesday, February 13, 2024 at 12 pm
Date: February 13, 2024
Reception: 11:30 am
Time: 12 pm
Speaker: Matt Wachowiak, Professor of Neurobiology
Brain and Behavior Cellular Neuroscience
University of Utah
Faculty Host: Betty Hong
"Untangling the tuning and timing of odor representations in the awake mouse"
Sensory systems allow an organism to adaptively respond to information from its environment. This requires being able to detect, encode and process sensory information rapidly - on a time-scale relevant for behaviors; and robustly - across environmentally relevant variations in stimulus attributes. We study how the olfactory system achieves this for chemical signals encountered by the mouse. This talk will describe our efforts to define a canonical map of the tuning of olfactory sensory neurons with respect to chemical space, as projected onto the array of glomeruli in the mouse olfactory bulb. We are using this map to test longstanding models of how odor tuning translates into temporal patterns of neural activity that are intimately linked to sampling behavior (i.e., sniffing) in order to rapidly and robustly encode odor identity. I will discuss how these results are challenging current models and pointing to a novel role for sniff-driven neural dynamics in odor coding and processing.