Chemical senses

An odor stimulator controlling odor temporal pattern applicable in insect olfaction study.

PMID 19363088


The olfactory system of an insect brain codes for information about odorant quality and quantity using the temporal pattern of neural activity as well as neurons' firing. Although an accurate odor temporal pattern is indispensable for investigations of olfactory systems, it is difficult to control in conventional odor stimulators. To overcome this problem, we fabricated an odor stimulator that can control the odor temporal pattern. The stimulator has 3 major parts: an "odor conditioner," with odor-laden air prepared with known concentrations of odorants; a Pitot tube; and a small wind tunnel of laminar flow. Using this stimulator, we realized not only timing control of the odor stimulation with millisecond order but also constant odor concentrations or intensity of stimulation, with error of 2.4% in replicated trials.

Related Materials