We are interested in how high frequency (30+ Hz) brains oscillations are generated using the mouse olfactory bulb as our model system. These oscillations are a prominent feature of neural activity in many brain areas including the olfactory system. The mechanisms that underlie these oscillations, as well as the functional role they play are poorly understood, but they have recently been implicated in many aspects of brain function and disease. In the previous funding period, we have described a novel mechanism, called stochastic synchrony, by which correlated fast fluctuating inputs can generate synchronous gamma-frequency (30-80Hz) oscillations in populations of neurons. While much of our previous work used olfactory bulb neurons as a model system for analysis of this novel mechanism of synchronization, this prior work ignored many details of olfactory bulb neurons and circuits in order to describe the general features of this phenomenon. In this application we propose to extend our previous work by considering how key features of olfactory bulb circuitry and physiology modulate stochastic synchrony. We are particularly interested in whether the observed heterogeneity of neural properties is a useful feature of neural networks or is a """"""""bug"""""""" that results from the intrinsic imprecision of biological systems. Homogeneity should enhance synchrony but recent data suggests that heterogeneity across neurons of the same type may provide certain functional advantages. We are also interested in how the synaptic connectivity of the olfactory bulb may facilitate or disrupt synchrony. Exploring these mechanisms will improve our understanding of the function and disorders of synchrony, especially in the context of the vertebrate olfactory system

Public Health Relevance

Activity of neurons in the olfactory system represents information about sensory stimuli in the environment. One of our long term goals is to understand how to interpret features of neuronal activity as representing features of olfactory stimuli. To accomplish this goal we believe that it is critical to develop our understanding of the dynamics of neuronal activity through the use of experiments and computational models. In this proposal we describe an integrated experimental and computational approach to analysis of the mechanisms of patterns of periodic synchronized activity in the olfactory system. In particular we want to understand how the detailed and diverse biophysical and synaptic properties of olfactory bulb neurons contribute to the generation of patterned activity.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Research Project (R01)
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Neurotechnology Study Section (NT)
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Sullivan, Susan L
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Carnegie-Mellon University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Liu, Annie; Urban, Nathaniel N (2017) Prenatal and Early Postnatal Odorant Exposure Heightens Odor-Evoked Mitral Cell Responses in the Mouse Olfactory Bulb. eNeuro 4:
Burton, Shawn D; LaRocca, Greg; Liu, Annie et al. (2017) Olfactory Bulb Deep Short-Axon Cells Mediate Widespread Inhibition of Tufted Cell Apical Dendrites. J Neurosci 37:1117-1138
Case, Daniel T; Burton, Shawn D; Gedeon, Jeremy Y et al. (2017) Layer- and cell type-selective co-transmission by a basal forebrain cholinergic projection to the olfactory bulb. Nat Commun 8:652
Geramita, Matthew; Urban, Nathan N (2017) Differences in Glomerular-Layer-Mediated Feedforward Inhibition onto Mitral and Tufted Cells Lead to Distinct Modes of Intensity Coding. J Neurosci 37:1428-1438
Liu, Annie; Savya, Sajishnu; Urban, Nathaniel N (2016) Early Odorant Exposure Increases the Number of Mitral and Tufted Cells Associated with a Single Glomerulus. J Neurosci 36:11646-11653
Geramita, Matthew A; Burton, Shawn D; Urban, Nathan N (2016) Distinct lateral inhibitory circuits drive parallel processing of sensory information in the mammalian olfactory bulb. Elife 5:
Geramita, Matthew; Urban, Nathan N (2016) Postnatal Odor Exposure Increases the Strength of Interglomerular Lateral Inhibition onto Olfactory Bulb Tufted Cells. J Neurosci 36:12321-12327
Zhou, Pengcheng; Burton, Shawn D; Snyder, Adam C et al. (2015) Establishing a Statistical Link between Network Oscillations and Neural Synchrony. PLoS Comput Biol 11:e1004549
Wang, Wanjie; Tripathy, Shreejoy J; Padmanabhan, Krishnan et al. (2015) An Empirical Model for Reliable Spiking Activity. Neural Comput 27:1609-23
Burton, Shawn D; Urban, Nathaniel N (2015) Rapid Feedforward Inhibition and Asynchronous Excitation Regulate Granule Cell Activity in the Mammalian Main Olfactory Bulb. J Neurosci 35:14103-22

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