Olfaction provides an ideal model for a distributed neural code. Unlike other sensory systems, from the receptor level onward, there is no simple spatial organization of the inputs. The output from receptors terminates on the olfactory bulb (or its analogues, the antennal lobe in insects) where it is processed and sent on to the olfactory cortex (mushroom body, in insects) Thus complex processing occurs at the earliest levels of input.
At the first level of processing, the olfactory bulb (and the analogue regions) is characterized by complex oscillations. These oscillations appear to be crucial in order for the animal to discriminate between odors, particularly those which are closely related. Furthermore, animals can learn a new odor with only a single presentation. Thus, part of this workshop will focus on models and experiments for olfactory oscillations and learning.
The mathematical areas that are expected to be strongly involved in this workshop are dynamical systems (oscillations, perturbation methods, bifurcations) and other areas of differential equations.
|Thursday, April 3|
|6:00-9:00PM||Dinner at the Holiday Inn|
|Friday, April 4|
|Saturday, April 5|