Stability and flexibility of odor representations in the mouse olfactory bulb

Haran Shani-Narkiss, David Beniaguev, Idan Segev, Adi Mizrahi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dynamic changes in sensory representations have been basic tenants of studies in neural coding and plasticity. In olfaction, relatively little is known about the dynamic range of changes in odor representations under different brain states and over time. Here, we used time-lapse in vivo two-photon calcium imaging to describe changes in odor representation by mitral cells, the output neurons of the mouse olfactory bulb. Using anesthetics as a gross manipulation to switch between different brain states (wakefulness and under anesthesia), we found that odor representations by mitral cells undergo significant re-shaping across states but not over time within state. Odor representations were well balanced across the population in the awake state yet highly diverse under anesthesia. To evaluate differences in odor representation across states, we used linear classifiers to decode odor identity in one state based on training data from the other state. Decoding across states resulted in nearly chance-level accuracy. In contrast, repeating the same procedure for data recorded within the same state but in different time points, showed that time had a rather minor impact on odor representations. Relative to the differences across states, odor representations remained stable over months. Thus, single mitral cells can change dynamically across states but maintain robust representations across months. These findings have implications for sensory coding and plasticity in the mammalian brain.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number1157259
JournalFrontiers in Neural Circuits
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 Shani-Narkiss, Beniaguev, Segev and Mizrahi.


  • anesthesia
  • mice
  • mitral cells
  • odor representations
  • plasticity
  • stability
  • two-photon imaging


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