Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Behavioral and electrophysiological studies of olfactory coding in fishes

January 1, 1999 - December 31, 2003
Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.03.00  Natural sciences and mathematics  Biology   

Code Science Field
B360  Biomedical sciences  Animal physiology 
B380  Biomedical sciences  Animal ethology and psychology 
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (11)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  22930  PhD Gregor Belušič  Biology  Researcher  2003 
2.  11169  PhD Janko Božič  Biology  Researcher  2002 - 2003 
3.  23415  PhD Jurij Dolenšek  Metabolic and hormonal disorders  Researcher  2003 
4.  10397  PhD Kazimir Drašlar  Biology  Researcher  2002 - 2003 
5.  17820  Nika Fon Leben    Researcher  2002 - 2003 
6.  17822  Suzana Logar    Researcher  2002 - 2003 
7.  21409  PhD Pika Miklavc  Biology  Researcher  2002 - 2003 
8.  23416  PhD Kaja Pliberšek  Biology  Researcher  2003 
9.  00846  PhD Peter Stušek  Biology  Researcher  2002 - 2003  122 
10.  01255  PhD Tine-Borut Valentinčič  Biology  Head  2002 - 2003 
11.  11713  PhD Gregor Zupančič  Biology  Researcher  2002 - 2003 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  11 
To understand how olfactory stimuli are perceived in the brain, coding of olfactory information at the olfactory receptor neuron layer needs to be resolved; qualitative and quantitative properties of the olfactory code and its transfer into the olfactory bulb must be identified. The olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) are involved into three successive steps of the coding mechanism: A) transduction mechanisms within the neurons, B) distribution of olfactory information across millions of olfactory receptor neurons that C), after convergence, evoke chemotopic patterns of glomerular activities in the olfactory bulb. After olfactory stimulation of brown bullhead catfish with amino acids č75%of spontaneously active olfactory receptor neurons are suppressed and only č25% are excited. The unexplained transduction mechanisms of suppression of spontaneous activity of the fish olfactory receptor neurons are currently investigated in our laboratory using patch clamp and other electrophysiological techniques. The primary scope of our study is to correlate the olfactory code for single amino acids with the ability of the catfish to discriminate olfactory stimuli. Quantification of physiological responses of several thousand of individual olfactory receptor cell to amino acid stimuli is currently under way using electrophysiological techniques. Descriptions of the olfactory receptor neuron responses to specific amino acids and their binary mixtures will be correlated with behavioral responses to the stimuli that are detected as different, equal or similar. Using binary mixtures the minimal differences in the olfactory code that are needed for olfactory discrimination will be identified.
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