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Xia, S., Tully, T. (2007). Segregation of odor identity and intensity during odor discrimination in drosophila mushroom body.  PLoS Biol. 5(10): e264.
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Research paper

Molecular and cellular studies have begun to unravel a neurobiological basis of olfactory processing, which appears conserved among vertebrate and invertebrate species. Studies have shown clearly that experience-dependent coding of odor identity occurs in "associative" olfactory centers (the piriform cortex in mammals and the mushroom body [MB] in insects). What remains unclear, however, is whether associative centers also mediate innate (spontaneous) odor discrimination and how ongoing experience modifies odor discrimination. Here we show in naïve flies that Galphaq-mediated signaling in MB modulates spontaneous discrimination of odor identity but not odor intensity (concentration). In contrast, experience-dependent modification (conditioning) of both odor identity and intensity occurs in MB exclusively via Galphas-mediated signaling. Our data suggest that spontaneous responses to odor identity and odor intensity discrimination are segregated at the MB level, and neural activity from MB further modulates olfactory processing by experience-independent Galphaq-dependent encoding of odor identity and by experience-induced Galphas-dependent encoding of odor intensity and identity.

PubMed ID
PubMed Central ID
PMC1994992 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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  • FBrf0200661
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Publication Type
PLoS Biol.
PLoS Biology
Publication Year
1545-7885 1544-9173
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