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Top-down Modulation of Olfactory Processing


Active sensation also involves coordinating ‘bottom-up’ effects such as sampling behavior with ‘top-down’ modulation of processing as a function of brain states like attention. Thus, we are also interested in how neuromodulatory pathways in the brain shape early olfactory processing during active sensing. We are asking how these systems affect olfactory bulb circuitry, how they shape odor representations at the level of olfactory bulb output, and when they are activated during odor-guided behaviors. To address these questions we are using a combination of electrophysiology, imaging, optogenetics and other genetic tools in anesthetized and awake behaving animals. Much of this work is being performed in collaboration with Michael Shipley’s laboratory in the University of Maryland Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy.


Relevant Publications

Brunert D, Tsuno Y, Rothermel M, Shipley MT, Wachowiak M (2016) Cell-Type-Specific Modulation of Sensory Responses in Olfactory Bulb Circuits by Serotonergic Projections from the Raphe Nuclei. J Neurosci 36:6820-6835.


Brill J, Shao Z, Puche AC, Wachowiak M, Shipley MT (2016) Serotonin increases synaptic activity in olfactory bulb glomeruli. J Neurophysiol 115:1208-1219.


Liu S, Shao Z, Puche A, Wachowiak M, Rothermel M, Shipley MT (2015) Muscarinic Receptors Modulate Dendrodendritic Inhibitory Synapses to Sculpt Glomerular Output. The Journal of Neuroscience 35:5680-5692.

Rothermel M, Wachowiak M (2014) Functional imaging of cortical feedback projections to the olfactory bulb. Front Neural Circuits 8:73.

Rothermel M, Carey RM, Puche A, Shipley MT, Wachowiak M (2014) Cholinergic Inputs from Basal Forebrain Add an Excitatory Bias to Odor Coding in the Olfactory Bulb. The Journal of Neuroscience 34:4654-4664.

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