Yu Receives Grant Funds to Study Sense of Smell

Associate Investigator Ron Yu, PhD, has received a five-year grant from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, part of the National Institutes of Health, for his proposal to investigate the role of specialized, neuronal connectivity patterns in regulating the way sensory information is processed and perceived. Specifically, Yu plans to create an anatomical sensory mapping of odor perception.

Yu and his team plan to exploit their understanding of the development of the olfactory system to gain insights into the contribution of specific connections to odor coding and perception. By genetically altering sensory connections and perturbing the anatomical map, they will probe odor discrimination and recognition. Using advanced electrophysiology and optical imaging techniques they will illuminate the impact of the altered connections.

Because cognitive deficits in psychiatric disorders related to sensory processing and perception often arise from disruptions in neural sensory circuits, this research could reveal how brain function can deteriorate due to disruptions in normal neuronal connections.