SPLTRAK Abstract Submission
The Impact of Odor Familiarity on Piriform Cortex Odor Response
Ian F. Chapman1,2 & Max L. Fletcher1
1University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN, United States
2Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia, PA, United States

The piriform cortex (PC) plays a key role in the processing of olfactory information in the brain. To explore how this region encodes olfactory experience, we exposed awake, freely moving mice to multiple presentations of a variety of odors every day for five days. Using miniscope calcium imaging, we recorded the activity of neurons within the PC during each session. We could reliably identify and record from a large population of these neurons across all sessions, allowing us to directly compare odor coding across days. Overall, we find that while PC population responses to individual odors become less consistent across days, responses within a session accurately predict odor identity. As the mice became familiar with odors, they investigated the odors less (as measured by behavioral scoring), particularly towards the end of sessions. This decrease in attention during these odor trials coincided with a decrease in response correlation to the initial day presentations, suggesting that an animal's behavioral state plays a role in response consistency. We are currently exploring how novelty impacts PC responses to familiar odors by including a novel odor into the panel or by placing the animal in a new context. Overall, these findings provide new insights into the neural mechanisms underlying the encoding of odor familiarity within the PC of awake, behaving mice.