Active sensing in a dynamic olfactory world

John Crimaldi, Hong Lei, Andreas Schaefer, Michael Schmuker, Brain H. Smith, Aaron C. True, Justus V. Verhagen, Jonathan D. Victor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Downloads (Pure)


This Perspective highlights the shift from the classic picture of olfaction as slow and static to a view in which dynamics play a critical role at many levels of sensing and behavior. Olfaction is now increasingly seen as a “wide-bandwidth temporal sense” (Ackels et al., 2021; Nagel et al., 2015). A parallel transition is occurring in odor-guided robot navigation, where it has been discovered that sensors can access temporal cues useful for navigation (Schmuker et al., 2016). We are only beginning to understand the implications of this paradigm-shift on our view of olfactory and olfactomotor circuits. Below we review insights into the information encoded in turbulent odor plumes and shine light on how animals could access this information. We suggest that a key challenge for olfactory neuroscience is to re-interpret work based on static stimuli in the context of natural odor dynamics and actively exploring animals.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Computational Neuroscience
Early online date30 Sept 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Sept 2021


Dive into the research topics of 'Active sensing in a dynamic olfactory world'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this