Vertebrate olfaction includes all vertebrates

By: James V. Kohl | Published on: October 10, 2012

The moderator of the evolutionary psychology yahoo group insists the evolutionary trail that I detailed using olfaction and odor receptors does not pass through insects or birds, which of course it must.

My comment: The molecular biology of organized bottom-up projections and activated top-down projections in vertebrates is so similar that species differences are only discussed outside the context of what is already known, and typically only by evolutionary theorists who have not learned that the evolutionary trail to humans, which I have detailed, must pass through insects and birds, or there would be no evolutionary trail — other than one that theorists have failed to detail or even theorize about in the context of how it could link sensory cause directly to adaptive evolution as is required. The time has come for theorists to incorporate the biological facts!

Excerpted from the article mentitioned below:

“…quantitative measurements and manipulations of spatiotemporal activity patterns have refined current views of information processing at successive stages in the olfactory system. These studies also highlighted the power of optogenetic approaches to control neuronal activity patterns in space and time, and to explore systematic relationships between activity patterns and behavioral outputs. These approaches may now be used to address further important questions such as the roles of defined cell types in network function, the functions of different higher brain areas, and the role of top-down projections in the olfactory system.”

Illuminating Vertebrate Olfactory Processing
  1. Hartwig Spors1,
  2. Dinu Florin Albeanu2,
  3. Venkatesh N. Murthy3,
  4. Dmitry Rinberg4,
  5. Naoshige Uchida3,
  6. Matt Wachowiak5, and
  7. Rainer W. Friedrich6


The olfactory system encodes information about molecules by spatiotemporal patterns of activity across distributed populations of neurons and extracts information from these patterns to control specific behaviors. Recent studies used in vivo recordings, optogenetics, and other methods to analyze the mechanisms by which odor information is encoded and processed in the olfactory system, the functional connectivity within and between olfactory brain areas, and the impact of spatiotemporal patterning of neuronal activity on higher-order neurons and behavioral outputs. The results give rise to a faceted picture of olfactory processing and provide insights into fundamental mechanisms underlying neuronal computations. This review focuses on some of this work presented in a Mini-Symposium at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in 2012.

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