SPLTRAK Abstract Submission

Mechanisms of Odor Identification Examined with Neuro-Cognitive Methods


Jonas Olofsson
Stockholm University, , ,

The ability to recognize a smell, odor identification, is highly dependent on multisensory context and expectation, for example, hearing the name of the odor source. In humans, impairment on olfactory identification tasks is a sensitive predictor of age-related cognitive decline, Alzheimers’ type dementia, and mortality. How multisensory associations are formed in the olfactory system is, however, poorly understood. I will review results from an experiment where we trained rats to make odor-tone associations in a task that is similar to odor identification assessments. We conducted physiological analyses of sensory-evoked local field potential activity in primary auditory cortex and anterior piriform cortex. Results show enhanced beta-band activity in both cortical areas, as well as cross-regional functional connectivity, suggesting a multisensory integration mechanism underlying odor identification. These results are discussed in the context of  the processes known to underlie human odor identification.