Mitral cells, the principal output neurons of the olfactory bulb, receive direct synaptic activation from primary sensory neurons. Shunting inhibitory inputs delivered by granule cell interneurons onto mitral cell lateral dendrites are believed to influence spike timing and underlie coordinated field potential oscillations. Lateral dendritic shunt conductances delayed spiking to a degree dependent on both their electrotonic distance and phase of onset. Recurrent inhibition significantly narrowed the distribution of mitral cell spike times, illustrating a tendency towards coordinated synchronous activity. This result suggests an essential role for early mechanisms of temporal coordination in olfaction. The model was adapted from Davison et al, 2003, but include additional noise mechanisms, long lateral dendrite, and specific synaptic point processes.
Region(s) or Organism(s): Olfactory bulb