Odor coding in piriform cortex: mechanistic insights into distributed coding.
Olfaction facilitates a large variety of animal behaviors such as feeding, mating, and communication. Recent work has begun to reveal the logic of odor transformations that occur throughout the olfactory system to form the odor percept. In this review, we describe the coding principles and mechanisms by which the piriform cortex and other olfactory areas encode three key odor features: odor identity, intensity, and valence. We argue that the piriform cortex produces a multiplexed odor code that allows non-interfering representations of distinct features of the odor stimulus to facilitate odor recognition and learning, which ultimately drives behavior.
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