Circuit mapping in the piriform cortex using optogenetics

In this project we are using a novel transgenic mouse (the 48L mouse), together with virus-encoded Channelrhodopsin-2, to map connectivity between different classes of neurons in the piriform cortex.  We have found that there are two layers of excitatory neurons in the input layer of the piriform cortex with features that closely resemble those of the hippocampus.  Using neural network models, we are exploring the idea that this circuit architecture enables the piriform cortex to readily learn new odours.  This work is a collaboration with Dr Mark McDonnell, University of South Australia.


  • Suzuki, N & Bekkers, JM. (2011)  Two layers of synaptic processing by principal neurons in piriform cortex.  J. Neurosci. 31, 2156-2166.
  • Choy, JMC., Shima, Y., Nelson, SB & Bekkers, JM. (2013)  Optogenetic analysis of intracortical circuits in the piriform cortex.  Soc. Neurosci. Abstr. 38.