Dynamical feature extraction at the sensory periphery guides chemotaxis.

TitleDynamical feature extraction at the sensory periphery guides chemotaxis.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsSchulze A, Gomez-Marin A, Rajendran VG, Lott G, Musy M, Ahammad P, Deogade A, Sharpe J, Riedl J, Jarriault D, Trautman ET, Werner C, Venkadesan M, Druckmann S, Jayaraman V, Louis M
Date Published2015 Jun 16
KeywordsAction Potentials, Algorithms, Animals, Chemotaxis, Diffusion, Drosophila, Larva, Models, Theoretical, Motor Activity, Odorants, Olfactory Receptor Neurons, Orientation, Sensory Receptor Cells, Smell

Behavioral strategies employed for chemotaxis have been described across phyla, but the sensorimotor basis of this phenomenon has seldom been studied in naturalistic contexts. Here, we examine how signals experienced during free olfactory behaviors are processed by first-order olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) of the Drosophila larva. We find that OSNs can act as differentiators that transiently normalize stimulus intensity-a property potentially derived from a combination of integral feedback and feed-forward regulation of olfactory transduction. In olfactory virtual reality experiments, we report that high activity levels of the OSN suppress turning, whereas low activity levels facilitate turning. Using a generalized linear model, we explain how peripheral encoding of olfactory stimuli modulates the probability of switching from a run to a turn. Our work clarifies the link between computations carried out at the sensory periphery and action selection underlying navigation in odor gradients.

Alternate JournalElife
PubMed ID26077825
PubMed Central IDPMC4468351
Grant List / / Howard Hughes Medical Institute / United States