Encyclopedia of Computational Neuroscience

2015 Edition
| Editors: Dieter Jaeger, Ranu Jung

Insect Olfaction: a Model System for Neural Circuit Modeling

  • Nitin Gupta
  • Mark Stopfer
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6675-8_338


Insect olfactory system denotes the network of cells – including the sensory neurons located on the antennae and the interneurons located in several areas of the brain such as the antennal lobe, the mushroom body, and the lateral horn – that work together to enable the sense of smell in an insect. Here we describe this circuit and consider why it makes a good model system for computational modeling of neural circuits.

Detailed Description

Olfaction presents some difficult problems. Unlike the visual or the auditory system, whose stimuli – light or sound – can be described along the dimensions of frequency and intensity, the olfactory system works with volatile chemicals, which come in numerous shapes and sizes, defying easy description in one or a few dimensions. But, like visual and auditory stimuli, olfactory stimuli may also vary in their intensity, timing, or spatial distribution. It remains a puzzle how the brain makes sense of this multidimensional input (Laurent 2002)....

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nitin Gupta
    • 1
  • Mark Stopfer
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institutes of HealthNICHDBethesdaUSA