The John B. Pierce Laboratory

Verhagen Lab’s micro-fMRI study reveals retronasal odor response across the entire olfactory bulbs in rats.

Dr. Verhagen’s lab and Yale collaborators Fahmeed Hyder and Gordon Shepherd publish first fMRI study of whole olfactory bulb responses to retronasal odors in rats. Dr. Basav Sanganahalli lead this innovative study.

We delivered odorants via the orthonasal (from external sniffed odors) and retronasal routes (from odors in the mouth; i. e. food) and measured glomerular activity responses in the whole olfactory bulb (OB) by fMRI. Our micro-fMRI results, with an amazing resolution of 83 voxels per cubic mm, revealed quite similar ortho- and retronasal whole OB glomerular activity patterns, except for lower efficacy of retronasal stimuli. This study confirms and adds to knowledge based on optical imaging of the dorsal OB of these routes from the Verhagen lab and  is important for understanding the perception and neural encoding of food flavor, which is important for feeding behavior and health.

The paper entitled “Orthonasal versus retronasal glomerular activity in rat olfactory bulb by fMRI” is available now in the journal NeuroImage.

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