Calcium imaging – Chemosensory laboratory – Department of psychology
The calcium imaging method allows measurement of odor-evoked responses from neuron populations and is therefore complementary to the single-unit recording technique. In our studies, we recording calcium fluctuation within particular antennal-lobe glomeruli, the spherical neuropils characterizing the primary olfactory center in almost all organisms. Bulk labelling with a calcium sensitive dye allows imaging of the glomerular activity. By this it is possible to investigate how the primary olfactory center responds to different types of odor stimuli, including both monomolecular components and odor mixtures of different complexity.
Recently we demonstrated non-associative plasticity within the primary olfactory center. This Hebbian-like plasticity was achieved as a result of temporal pairing of two mixed odor stimuli, a sun flower mix and the female-produced sex pheromone. These findings make the primary olfactory center a relevant object for investigating not only odor coding mechanism but also principles characterizing circuit plasticity.