The brain is composed of two hemispheres that communicate with each other. While tremendous progress has been made in recent years in understanding the role of each sub brain region, understanding how bilateral communications (BC) contribute to brain computations and behavior is poorly understood. BC is crucial for spatial localization as well as higher cognitive functions such as language and perception of self in humans. Investigating BC has been very difficult to address due to lack of appropriate tools. The recent advance in optogentic, high resolution imaging and multi-unit electrophysiology provides a new opportunity to tackle these questions. In this study I will focus on the BC involved in odor localization as a starting point to understand BC and neural circuits. Understanding odor localization can have an enormous impact on many aspects of our lives such as, pest control, pollution management and plant-insect communications. Furthermore, understanding BC can advance computer science by suggesting new computational approaches that are based on parallelism. We will start by characterizing odor localization ability in mice. Then we will scan for neurons involved in odor localization tasks by recording bilateral neural responses using multi-channel recording in relevant brain regions of behaving mice. To unravel the neural circuits underlying BC in odor localization we will apply imaging techniques to measure the bilateral neural responses of both OB neurons to odors delivered from different directions. We will investigate the role of information exchange between the two OBs by checking the effect of transecting the olfactory communication lines between the two hemispheres on behavior and the neural responses. Using optogentic, we will activate and deactivate particular neurons in one OB of transgenic mice while recording the activity of mirror neurons in the second OB. Our research is aimed to open a new research direction on bilateral brain computations.
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