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Firing properties of sensory neurons

Trainee Achievements

Firing properties of sensory neurons

Hannah Arnson investigated the firing properties of sensory neurons in the accessory olfactory system, a distinct sensory system specialized for detection of socially-relevant odors. Using multielectrode array recording, she observed that sensory neurons are spontaneously active and highly variable across time and trials, and that this spontaneous activity limits the ability to distinguish sensory responses from noise. Sensory neuron activity tended to consist of bursts that maintained remarkably consistent statistics during both spontaneous activity and in response to stimulation with sulfated steroids. This, combined with pharmacological and genetic intervention in the signal transduction cascade indicates that sensory transduction plays a role in shaping overall spontaneous activity.