Adult neurogenesis in the olfactory bulb has been shown experimentally to contribute to perceptual learning. Using a computational network model we show that fundamental aspects of the adult neurogenesis observed in the olfactory bulb -- the persistent addition of new inhibitory granule cells to the network, their activity-dependent survival, and the reciprocal character of their synapses with the principal mitral cells -- are sufficient to restructure the network and to alter its encoding of odor stimuli adaptively so as to reduce the correlations between the bulbar representations of similar stimuli. The model captures the experimentally observed role of neurogenesis in perceptual learning and the enhanced response of young granule cells to novel stimuli. Moreover, it makes specific predictions for the type of odor enrichment that should be effective in enhancing the ability of animals to discriminate similar odor mixtures. NSF grant DMS-0719944.
Model Type: Realistic Network
Region(s) or Organism(s): Olfactory bulb
Simulation Environment: MATLAB
Implementer(s): Chow, Siu-Fai