This week on Journal Club session Michael Schmuker will talk about a paper "Using Head-Mounted Ethanol Sensors to Monitor Olfactory Information and Determine Behavioral Changes Associated with Ethanol-Plume Contact during Mouse Odor-Guided Navigation".
Olfaction guides navigation and decision-making in organisms from multiple animal phyla. Understanding how animals use olfactory cues to guide navigation is a complicated problem for two main reasons. First, the sensory cues used to guide animals to the source of an odor consist of volatile molecules, which form plumes. These plumes are governed by turbulent air currents, resulting in an intermittent and spatiotemporally varying olfactory signal. A second problem is that the technologies for chemical quantification are cumbersome and cannot be used to detect what the freely moving animal senses in real time. Understanding how the olfactory system guides this behavior requires knowing the sensory cues and the accompanying brain signals during navigation. Here, we present a method for real-time monitoring of olfactory information using low-cost, lightweight sensors that robustly detect common solvent molecules, like alcohols, and can be easily mounted on the heads of freely behaving mice engaged in odor- guided navigation. To establish the accuracy and temporal response properties of these sensors we compared their responses with those of a photoionization detector (PID) to precisely controlled ethanol stimuli. Ethanol-sensor recordings, deconvolved using a difference-of- exponentials kernel, showed robust correlations with the PID signal at behaviorally relevant time, frequency, and spatial scales. Additionally, calcium imaging of odor responses from the olfactory bulbs (OBs) of awake, head-fixed mice showed strong correlations with ethanol plume contacts detected by these sensors. Finally, freely behaving mice engaged in odor-guided navigation showed robust behavioral changes such as speed reduction that corresponded to ethanol plume contacts.
- M. Tariq, S. Lewis, A. Lowell, S. Moore, J. Miles, D. Perkel, D. Gire, "Using Head-Mounted Ethanol Sensors to Monitor Olfactory Information and Determine Behavioral Changes Associated with Ethanol-Plume Contact during Mouse Odor-Guided Navigation", 2021, eneuro, 8, ENEURO.0285-20.2020