Depolarization block in olfactory sensory neurons expands the dimensionality of odor encoding

David Tadres, Philip Wong, Thuc To, Jeff Moehlis & Matthieu Louis
Upon strong and prolonged excitation, neurons can undergo a silent state called depolarization block that is often associated with disorders such as epileptic seizures. Here we show that neurons in the peripheral olfactory system undergo depolarization block as part of their normal physiological function. Typically, olfactory sensory neurons enter depolarization block at odor concentrations three orders of magnitude above their detection threshold, thereby defining receptive fields over concentration bands. The silencing of high-affinity olfactory sensory...
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