Olfaction and respiration are inextricably linked: with each inhalation, odorant molecules penetrate the nasal cavity, carried by respiratory airflows, and stimulate the receptor cells. As a result, the neuronal activity in the olfactory system is rhythmed by breathing.
This olfaction/respiration interaction is at the center of our research work. Particularly, we try to understand how respiration, through its action via the olfactory system, modulates brain activity not only in olfactory areas but also beyond. We study this interaction in different condtions: during resting state, during sleep/wake cycles, during an olfactory discrimination task or during an imposed respiratory regime.
The methods used are mainly those of electrophysiology (unitary extracellular, local field potentials).