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Patterns of olfactory glomerular activation

Imaging of odor induced activity in the olfactory glomeruli was introduced using 2deoxyglucose (Sharp et al, 1975) followed by high-resolution fMRI (Xu et al, 2003). These are only two of the many methods that have been used to show patterns of activation of the olfactory glomeruli by different odor molecules.

They are consistent with the fact that subsets of similar olfactory receptor cells converge on single glomeruli (Mombaerts et al, 1996), giving rise therefore to differential activation of the glomerular sheet.

The patterns of activation are likely more extensive than are revealed by these methods, accounting for more widespread encoding of odor molecules, which means more resistance to losing the discrimination of odors to infection and other damage in the lifetime of animals dependent on the sense of smell for behavior.

See Shepherd et al (2021) for details.