“What do our results imply about how the brain encodes an olfactory percept? We speculate that, for each molecular feature,…

“What do our results imply about how the brain encodes an olfactory percept? We speculate that, for each molecular feature, there must be some quantitative mapping, possibly one to many, between the magnitude of that feature and the spatiotemporal pattern and activation magnitude of the associated olfactory receptors. If features rarely or never interact to produce perception, as suggested by the strong relative performance of linear models in this challenge, then these feature-specific patterns must sum linearly at the perceptual stage (19). Peripheral events in the olfactory sensory epithelium, including receptor binding and sensory neuron firing rates might have nonlinearities, but the numerical representation of perceptual magnitude must be linear in these patterns. It is possible that stronger nonlinearity will be discovered when odor mixtures or the temporal dynamics of odor perception are investigated. Many questions regarding human olfaction remain that may be successfully addressed by applying this method to future data sets that include more specific descriptors; more molecules that represent different olfactory percepts than those studied here; and subjects of different genetic, cultural, and geographic backgrounds.”This is so cool! When I read these kind of articles though I wish I would’ve come up with the idea!

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