Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
Animals use behaviors to actively sample the environment across a broad spectrum of sensory domains. These behaviors discretize the sensory experience into unique spatiotemporal moments, minimize sensory adaptation, and enhance perception. In olfaction, behaviors such as sniffing, antennal flicking, and wing beating all act to periodically expose olfactory epithelium. In mammals, it is thought that sniffing enhances neural representations; however, the effects of insect wing beating on representations remain unknown. To determine how well the antennal lobe (AL) produces odor dependent representations when wing beating effects are simulated, we used extracellular methods to record neural units and local field potentials (LFPs) from moth AL. We recorded responses to odors presented as prolonged continuous stimuli or periodically as 20 and 25 Hz pulse trains designed to simulate the oscillating effects of wing beating around the antennae during odor guided flight. Using spectral analyses, we show that ~25% of all recorded units were able to entrain to “pulsed stimuli”; this includes pulsed blanks, which elicited the strongest overall entrainment. The strength of entrainment to pulse train stimuli was dependent on molecular features of the odorants, odor concentration, and pulse train duration. Moreover, units showing pulse tracking responses were highly phase locked to LFPs during odor stimulation, indicating that unit-LFP phase relationships are stimulus-driven. Finally, a Euclidean distance-based population vector analysis established that AL odor representations are more robust, peak more quickly, and do not show adaptation when odors were presented at the natural wing beat frequency as opposed to prolonged continuous stimulation. These results suggest a general strategy for optimizing olfactory representations, which exploits the natural rhythmicity of wing beating by integrating mechanosensory and olfactory cues at the level of the AL.
Digital Commons Citation
Houot, Benjamin; Burkland, Rex; Tripathy, Shreejoy; and Daly, Kevin C., "Antennal lobe representations are optimized when olfactory stimuli are periodically structured to simulate natural wing beat effects" (2014). Faculty & Staff Scholarship. 2522.
Houot, B., Burkland, R., Tripathy, S., & Daly, K. C. (2014). Antennal lobe representations are optimized when olfactory stimuli are periodically structured to simulate natural wing beat effects. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, 8. https://doi.org/10.3389/fncel.2014.00159