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Parallel processing by distinct classes of principal neurons in the olfactory cortex

Cite this dataset

Nagappan, Shivathmihai; Franks, Kevin (2021). Parallel processing by distinct classes of principal neurons in the olfactory cortex [Dataset]. Dryad.


Understanding how distinct neuron types in a neural circuit process and propagate information is essential for understanding what the circuit does and how it does it. The olfactory (piriform, PCx) cortex contains two main types of principal neurons, semilunar (SL) and pyramidal (PYR) cells. SLs and PYRs have distinct morphologies, local connectivity, biophysical properties, and downstream projection targets. Odor processing in PCx is thought to occur in two sequential stages. First, SLs receive and integrate olfactory bulb input and then PYRs receive, transform, and transmit SL input. To test this model, we recorded from populations of optogenetically identified SLs and PYRs in awake, head-fixed mice. Notably, silencing SLs did not alter PYR odor responses, and SLs and PYRs exhibited differences in odor tuning properties and response discriminability that were consistent with their distinct embeddings within a sensory-associative cortex. Our results therefore suggest that SLs and PYRs form parallel channels for differentially processing odor information in and through PCx.


The dataset contains extracellular recordings of layer II piriform cortex neurons in awake, head-fixed Ntng1-Cre mice. Recordings were made using 32-channel Neuronexus probes and sorted using Spyking-Circus. Semilunar cells were opto-tagged during recordings and the sorted units have been categorized as either semilunar or superficial pyramidal based on their responses to light.

Usage notes

Description of data organization and notes for usage are provided in NagappanFranks_eLife2021_dataDocumentation.pdf