Technical Program

Paper Detail

Paper: GS-1.2
Session: Contributed Talks 1-2
Location: H0104
Session Time: Saturday, September 14, 09:50 - 10:30
Presentation Time:Saturday, September 14, 10:10 - 10:30
Presentation: Oral
Publication: 2019 Conference on Cognitive Computational Neuroscience, 13-16 September 2019, Berlin, Germany
Paper Title: Evolving the Olfactory System
Manuscript:  Click here to view manuscript
View Video: Video
License: Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Authors: Guangyu Robert Yang, Peter Yiliu Wang, Yi Sun, Ashok Litwin-Kumar, Richard Axel, L.F. Abbott, Columbia University, United States
Abstract: Flies and mice are species separated by 600 million years of evolution, yet have evolved olfactory systems that share many similarities in their anatomic and functional organization. What functions do these shared anatomical and functional features serve, and are they optimal for odor sensing? In this study, we address the optimality of evolutionary design in olfactory circuits by studying artificial neural networks trained to sense odors. We found that artificial neural networks quantitatively recapitulate structures inherent in the olfactory system, including the formation of glomeruli onto a compression layer and sparse and random connectivity onto an expansion layer. Finally, we offer theoretical justifications for each result. Our work offers a framework to explain the evolutionary convergence of olfactory circuits, and gives insight and logic into the anatomic and functional structure of the olfactory system.