Title: Becoming what you smell: adaptive sensing and efficient coding in the olfactory system
Abstract: I will discuss the circuit architecture of the early olfactory system as an adaptive, efficient mechanism for compressing the vast space of odor mixtures into the responses of a small number of sensors. In this view, the olfactory sensory repertoire first leverages the power of randomness to implement a compressive sensing procedure. It then adapts the resulting representation to efficiently encode and optimize information transfer from the changing environment of volatile molecules. I will show how such adaptive, combinatorial information representations can be efficiently decoded, and will compare the predictions with animal behavior.