In the Rinberg lab, we are exploring how cells in the brain’s “smell center” represent information about odors. Animals use information provided by scents to avoid danger and find food or mates. For each odor, an olfactory receptor neuron in the nose sends a signal to a cluster of nerves in the olfactory bulb in the brain; these clusters then communicate with an intermediary cell, which sends a signal to the part of the brain that directs the animal’s behavior. Using an array of neurophysiological and optogenetic techniques, I will record the activity of a specific set of cells as a mouse detects a variety of odors. By monitoring how quickly or vigorously the cells respond to these selected scents, I hope to decipher how these cells represent the patterns of activity of the receptors and convey information about the identity and concentration of odors—work that will provide insights into how nerve cells interpret and encode information about our surroundings which may impart insights into the cause and treatment of autism spectrum disorders.
- Matias A. Alvarez-Saavedra, Ph.D.
- Ezequiel M. Arneodo, Ph.D.
- Andrea M. Caricilli, Ph.D.
- Luisina De Tullio, Ph.D.
- Armando Hernandez Garcia, Ph.D.
- Pablo A. Lara-Gonzalez, Ph.D.
- Juan David Ramirez Gonzalez, Ph.D.
- Daniela Paula T. Thomazella, Ph.D.
- Alejandro Vasquez Rifo, Ph.D.
- Yuriria Vázquez Zúñiga, Ph.D.