Decoding odor quality and intensity in the Drosophila brain

Strutz, Antonia, Soelter, Jan, Baschwitz, Amelie, Farhan, Abu, Grabe, Veit, Rybak, Jürgen, Knaden, Markus, Schmuker, Michael, Hansson, Bill S and Sachse, Silke (2014) Decoding odor quality and intensity in the Drosophila brain. eLife. e04147. ISSN 2050-084x

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Abstract

To internally reflect the sensory environment, animals create neural maps encoding the external stimulus space. From that primary neural code relevant information has to be extracted for accurate navigation. We analyzed how different odor features such as hedonic valence and intensity are functionally integrated in the lateral horn (LH) of the vinegar fly, Drosophila melanogaster. We characterized an olfactory-processing pathway, comprised of inhibitory projection neurons (iPNs) that target the LH exclusively, at morphological, functional and behavioral levels. We demonstrate that iPNs are subdivided into two morphological groups encoding positive hedonic valence or intensity information and conveying these features into separate domains in the LH. Silencing iPNs severely diminished flies' attraction behavior. Moreover, functional imaging disclosed a LH region tuned to repulsive odors comprised exclusively of third-order neurons. We provide evidence for a feature-based map in the LH, and elucidate its role as the center for integrating behaviorally relevant olfactory information.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology > QL0360 Invertebrates > QL0434 Arthropoda > QL0463 Insects > QL0531 Diptera (Flies) > QL0537.A-Z Systematic divisions. By family > QL0537.D76 Drosophilidae (Vinegarflies)
Q Science > QP Physiology > QP0351 Neurophysiology and neuropsychology
Q Science > QP Physiology > QP0351 Neurophysiology and neuropsychology > QP0361 Nervous system
Q Science > QP Physiology > QP0351 Neurophysiology and neuropsychology > QP0431 Senses > QP0448 Special senses > QP0455 Chemical senses. Chemoreceptors
Depositing User: michael Schmuker
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2015 11:36
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2017 11:29
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/54180

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