Featured Research Biological Sciences & Bioengineering

Role of Neural Oscillations in the Processing of Behaviorally Salient Odors by the Mosquito Brain

PI: Prof. Nitin Gupta

The spectrogram indicates the presence of 15-20 Hz oscillations in neural activity during odor sensing

Mosquitoes show innate attraction to human smell, which is one of the important cues used by mosquitoes to find humans. The scientific community has begun to identify the neurons on the mosquito sensory organs that are important for mediating attraction to human odors, or aversion to common repellents such as DEET. But the mechanisms inside the mosquito brain that connect the activity of the sensory neurons to their behavior are not known. Neural oscillations, which reflect the synchronized activity of large sets of neurons and are important for discriminating odors, could play an important role in determining attraction and repulsion to odors. This project proposes to develop techniques for observing odorinduced oscillations in mosquitoes, and test their role in coding of behaviorally important odors.





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