04/2019 New Preprint

Sehdev A, Szyszka P

Odor-background segregation of unknown odorants based on stimulus onset asynchrony in honey bees

bioRxiv, 2019

  • Honey bees can use stimulus onset asynchrony to segregate unknown odorants from background (unknown odorant = odorant that has not been smelled before, and that has no innate or learned valence)
  • The effective stimulus onset asynchrony is two orders of magnitude larger than the previously reported stimulus asynchrony sufficient for segregating known odorants
  • We discuss the implications for neural mechanisms underlying odor-background of known versus unknown odorants

02/2019 New Paper

Sehdev A, Mohammed YG, Triphan T, Szyszka P

Olfactory object recognition based on fine-scale stimulus timing in Drosophila

iScience, 2019

  • Flies can detect whether two mixed odorants arrive synchronously or asynchronously
  • This temporal sensitivity occurs for odorants with innate and learned valences
  • Flies’ behavior suggests use of odor onset asynchrony for odor source segregation

12/2018 New Paper

Chan HK, Hersperger F, Marachlian E, Smith BH, Locatelli F, Szyszka P, Nowotny T 

Odorant mixtures elicit less variable and faster responses than pure odorants

PLoS Comp Biol, 2018

  • Extended standard olfactory receptor model predicts that odorant-evoked activity patterns are more stable across concentrations and first-spike latencies of receptor neurons are shorter for mixtures than for pure odorants.
  • The more stable activity patterns result from the competition between different ligands for receptor sites.
  • Shorter first-spike latencies arise from the nonlinear dependence of binding rate on odorant concentration, commonly described by the Hill coefficient.
  • Neuronal responses in Drosophila and honey bees confirm model predictions.

09/2018 - Moving to New Zealand

I am looking forward to becoming a Lecturer in Zoology at the University of Otago in February 2019.