DOI: 10.1101/515411Jan 8, 2019Paper

Whitening of odor representations by the wiring diagram of the olfactory bulb

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Adrian A Wanner, Rainer W Friedrich


Neuronal computations underlying higher brain functions depend on synaptic interactions among specific neurons. A mechanistic understanding of such computations requires wiring diagrams of neuronal networks. We examined how the olfactory bulb (OB) performs whitening, a fundamental computation that decorrelates activity patterns and supports their classification by memory networks. We measured odor-evoked activity in the OB of a zebrafish larva and subsequently reconstructed the complete wiring diagram by volumetric electron microscopy. The resulting functional connectome revealed an overrepresentation of multisynaptic connectivity motifs that mediate reciprocal inhibition between neurons with similar tuning. This connectivity suppressed redundant responses and was necessary and sufficient to reproduce whitening in simulations. Whitening of odor representations is therefore mediated by higher-order structure in the wiring diagram that is adapted to natural input patterns.

Related Concepts

Electron Microscopy
Closure by Wire
Brain Function

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