Oscillatory dynamics and information processing in olfactory systems

Alan Gelperin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Oscillatory dynamics is a universal design feature of olfactory information-processing systems. Recent results in honeybees and terrestrial slugs suggest that oscillations underlie temporal patterns of olfactory interneuron responses critical for odor discrimination. Additional general design features in olfactory information-processing systems include (1) the use of central processing areas receiving direct olfactory input for odor memory storage and (2) modulation of circuit dynamics and olfactory memory function by nitric oxide. Recent results in the procerebral lobe of the terrestrial slug Limax maximus, an olfactory analyzer with oscillatory dynamics and propagating activity waves, suggest that Lucifer Yellow can be used to reveal a band-shaped group of procerebral neurons involved in the storage of an odor memory. A model has been constructed to relate wave propagation and odor memory bands in the procerebral lobe of L. maximus and to relate these findings to glomerular odor representations in arthropods and vertebrates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1855-1864
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science


  • Information processing
  • Memory
  • Odour discrimination
  • Olfaction
  • Olfactory dynamics


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