In the olfactory bulb, the processing units for odor discrimination are believed to involve dendrodendritic synaptic interactions between mitral and granule cells. There is increasing anatomical evidence that these cells are organized in columns, and that the columns processing a given odor are arranged in widely distributed arrays. Experimental evidence is lacking on the underlying learning mechanisms for how these columns and arrays are formed. We have used a simplified realistic circuit model to test the hypothesis that distributed connectivity can self-organize through an activity-dependent dendrodendritic synaptic mechanism. The results point to action potentials propagating in the mitral cell lateral dendrites as playing a critical role in this mechanism, and suggest a novel and robust learning mechanism for the development of distributed processing units in a cortical structure.
Model Type: Realistic Network
Region(s) or Organism(s): Olfactory bulb
Model Concept(s): Activity Patterns; Dendritic Action Potentials; Active Dendrites; Detailed Neuronal Models; Synaptic Plasticity; Long-term Synaptic Plasticity; Action Potentials; Learning; Olfaction
Simulation Environment: NEURON
Implementer(s): Migliore, Michele [Michele.Migliore at Yale.edu]