Spatial Mapping in the Rat Olfactory Bulb by Odor and Direct Electrical Stimulation

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To directly measure the spatial mapping in the olfactory bulb by odor presentation and by direct electrical stimulation.

Study Design

Experimental (animal).


University research laboratory.

Subjects and Methods

Odor (n = 8) and electrical stimulation (n = 4) of the olfactory bulb in rats were used to demonstrate the spatial mapping of neural responses in the olfactory bulb. Both multiunit responses to odor stimulation and evoked potential responses to localized electrical stimulation were measured in different regions of the olfactory bulb.


Responses that were recorded simultaneously from an array of 32 electrodes positioned at different locations within the olfactory bulb were mapped. Results show different spatial patterns of neural activity for different odors (odor maps). Direct stimulation of the olfactory bulb with electrical current pulses from electrodes positioned at different locations was also effective in generating spatial patterns of neural activity.


These data suggest that by programming an array of stimulating electrodes, it should be possible to selectively activate different regions of the olfactory bulb, generating unique patterns of neural activity as seen in normal smell.

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