New insights into how the brain perceives and processes odors

October 22, 2019

CHICAGO -- New research makes advances in understanding how smells are perceived and represented in the brain. The findings were presented at Neuroscience 2019, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world's largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.

Olfactory cues provide essential information for finding food, navigation, predator avoidance, and social interactions, among other functions. Yet our understanding of how the brain perceives and processes smells lags behind our understanding of the neural basis of other senses, such as vision.

Today's new findings show that:"The sense of smell is one of the last mysteries in sensory neuroscience," said Alexander Fleischmann, PhD, a professor at Brown University who studies sensory perception and behavior. "This research advances our understanding of how the brain perceives, represents and navigates a complex olfactory environment."

This research was supported by national funding agencies including the National Institutes of Health and private funding organizations. Find out more about olfaction and other senses on

Related Neuroscience 2019 Presentation
Minisymposium: Sensory Circuits for Vision and Smell: Integrating Molecular, Anatomical, and Functional Maps
Tuesday, Oct. 22, 8:30 - 11:00 a.m., Room S105

Olfaction Press Conference SummaryProcessing of Intermittent Odor Plumes Through Population Activity Between Glomerular Networks in the Mouse Olfactory Bulb
Suzanne Lewis,, Abstract 399.21Active Sampling Optimizes Processing of Fluctuations in Odor Concentration
Roman Shusterman,, Abstract 399.19The role of Olfactory Landmarks in Place Cell Formation and Navigation
Walter Fischler,, Abstract 663.18The Logic of Olfactory Bulb Outputs Revealed by High-Throughput Single-Neuron Projection Mapping Using Sequencing
Yushu Chen,, Abstract 399.27Mapping Olfactory Codes to Perceptual Spaces With Synthetic Optogenetic Odors
Dmitry Rinberg,, Abstract 635.04
About the Society for Neuroscience

The Society for Neuroscience is the world's largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system. The nonprofit organization, founded in 1969, now has nearly 37,000 members in more than 90 countries and over 130 chapters worldwide.

Society for Neuroscience

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