Michael Patterson

16 posts · 13,340 views

I study olfaction and taste perception at the University of Geneva. As I dive into the literature, I post summaries of interesting papers, and sometimes cover bigger issues in science.

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  • January 31, 2013
  • 11:35 AM
  • 45 views

Minimal optical stimulation

by Michael Patterson in ...And You Will Know Me By The Trail of Papers

The Isaacson lab just published a paper about feedback connections from piriform cortex to the olfactory bulb. To do this, they expressed ChR2 in cortex, then cut slices of the olfactory bulb, patched various cells, and photostimulated the cortical axon terminals. Standard optogenetics in 2013.

They quantified the strength of the cortical feedback onto various cell types, and they found that the... Read more »

  • November 5, 2012
  • 11:00 PM
  • 641 views

Annals of underwhelming papers: Channelrhodopsinning

by Michael Patterson in ...And You Will Know Me By The Trail of Papers

While I am no Boyden-level expert in channelrhodopsin, I have photostimulated neurons in the olfactory bulb, and now am trying to use the delightfully named PINP technique to record from specific layers of cortex. Given this rudimentary experience, I am increasingly frustrated by the sloppiness of optogenetic research in good journals. Today I would like to highlight four articles that used ... Read more »

Poulet, J., Fernandez, L., Crochet, S., & Petersen, C. (2012) Thalamic control of cortical states. Nature Neuroscience, 15(3), 370-372. DOI: 10.1038/nn.3035  

Tan KR, Yvon C, Turiault M, Mirzabekov JJ, Doehner J, Labouèbe G, Deisseroth K, Tye KM, & Lüscher C. (2012) GABA neurons of the VTA drive conditioned place aversion. Neuron, 73(6), 1173-83. PMID: 22445344  

  • November 3, 2012
  • 11:09 AM
  • 650 views

PINPing ain't easy

by Michael Patterson in ...And You Will Know Me By The Trail of Papers

With my olfaction research ending at Zeno speed, I've started pilot experiments for everyone's favourite sensory modality, taste! The idea is to record from each layer of taste (insular) cortex, and compare the "taste receptive fields" of neurons from each layer. To identify the layer I record from, I'm using channelrhodopsin-aided cell identification: I record extracellulary from random neurons ... Read more »

  • August 13, 2012
  • 01:28 PM
  • 845 views

Walk Along the Paper Trail: 'Attaboy! Atasoy

by Michael Patterson in ...And You Will Know Me By The Trail of Papers

On a basic level, feeding (viz. eating) is regulated by opponent pathways: for example the hormone leptin is anorexigenic (prevents feeding), whereas cannabinoids are orexigenic (causes feeding); in the lateral hypothalamus, AGRP-expressing neurons are orexigenic, while POMC neurons are anorexigenic. Many of the players in feeding regulation are known, and the current task in the field is tying ... Read more »

Atasoy D, Betley JN, Su HH, & Sternson SM. (2012) Deconstruction of a neural circuit for hunger. Nature, 488(7410), 172-7. PMID: 22801496  

  • May 30, 2012
  • 08:57 AM
  • 595 views

Walk Along the Paper Trail: Val de Laurent, Stopfer Stead

by Michael Patterson in ...And You Will Know Me By The Trail of Papers

This is part 2 in an arbitrarily long series where I review papers from Gilles Laurent's lab.

Last time I looked at four early papers from Laurent's lab, which described the basics of how insect olfaction works. They showed that when you present a locust with an odor, their olfactory centers' LFPs oscillate at 20Hz, and antennal lobe (AL) neurons fire action potentials in sync with the LFP. ... Read more »

  • May 24, 2012
  • 07:00 PM
  • 532 views

Walk Along the Paper Trail: Val de Laurent, Valley Floor

by Michael Patterson in ...And You Will Know Me By The Trail of Papers

Like Casablanca on an AFI top 100 list, you knew this was coming: the Laurent lab overview. Gilles Laurent is the forefather the dynamics of olfactory coding, and his neurotree includes descendants like Rainer Friedrich and Rachel Wilson. In the next few posts I'm going to cover the significant papers since he started his lab. Today I will cover results from four papers that initially described ... Read more »

  • April 4, 2012
  • 08:35 AM
  • 407 views

Paper trail day trip: Genomic systems neuroscience

by Michael Patterson in ...And You Will Know Me By The Trail of Papers

Theoretically, each animal's taste repertoire is determined by the food it eats. For herbivores, the important tastes are sweet and bitter, which lets animals distinguish between calories and poison. For carnivores, they are umami and sour, which help identify whether meat is fresh. Flies, for whatever reason, detect carbonation in water. As omnivores, humans combine the taste repertoires of ... Read more »

Jiang P, Josue J, Li X, Glaser D, Li W, Brand JG, Margolskee RF, Reed DR, & Beauchamp GK. (2012) Major taste loss in carnivorous mammals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109(13), 4956-61. PMID: 22411809  

  • February 27, 2012
  • 05:00 PM
  • 982 views

Walk Along the Paper Trail: Drosophiliac Dopaminergic Sweet Tooth

by Michael Patterson in ...And You Will Know Me By The Trail of Papers

Rather than repine about the worst Cell paper I've ever read*, let's cover a new Cell paper from David Anderson's lab. In my past posts on taste, I've covered a lot of the Zuker lab's work on mammalian taste receptors, and other labs' work on how neuromodulators can effect taste receptors. Parallel with the work on mammalian receptors, many taste receptors have been identified in the fly, ... Read more »

  • October 27, 2011
  • 05:00 PM
  • 928 views

Walk Along the Paper Trail: Rinberg Redoubt

by Michael Patterson in ...And You Will Know Me By The Trail of Papers

It's been too long since I wrote about, you know, actual science. Today I'm going to cover two recent papers from the Rinberg lab, which has been on fire lately.

"Precise" temporal coding in the olfactory bulb


While the core coding strategies used in the visual, auditory, and somatosensory systems are generally well defined, much less is known about coding in olfaction. Many people have imaged... Read more »

Shusterman R, Smear MC, Koulakov AA, & Rinberg D. (2011) Precise olfactory responses tile the sniff cycle. Nature neuroscience, 14(8), 1039-44. PMID: 21765422  

Smear M, Shusterman R, O'Connor R, Bozza T, & Rinberg D. (2011) Perception of sniff phase in mouse olfaction. Nature. PMID: 21993623  

  • September 5, 2011
  • 10:21 AM
  • 1,124 views

Walk Along the Paper Trail: Taste Hotsprings

by Michael Patterson in ...And You Will Know Me By The Trail of Papers

The Zuker lab recently reported the existence of taste hotspots in gustatory cortex. I go through the paper, and look at what that means.... Read more »

Chen X, Gabitto M, Peng Y, Ryba NJ, & Zuker CS. (2011) A gustotopic map of taste qualities in the mammalian brain. Science (New York, N.Y.), 333(6047), 1262-6. PMID: 21885776  

  • September 5, 2011
  • 08:00 AM
  • 1,132 views

Walk Along the Paper Trail: Taste Hotsprings

by Michael Patterson in ...And You Will Know Me By The Trail of Papers

I haven't done many walkalongs about new papers, so let's review a new paper from Charles Zuker's lab.

Trail Prep

First, two pieces of background. There are two diametrically opposed theories of taste coding. The "labeled line" theory states that each taste quality (sweet, salty, bitter, etc.) is encoded by a single cell type, and individual cells respond to single taste qualities. In contrast,... Read more »

Chen X, Gabitto M, Peng Y, Ryba NJ, & Zuker CS. (2011) A gustotopic map of taste qualities in the mammalian brain. Science (New York, N.Y.), 333(6047), 1262-6. PMID: 21885776  

  • August 8, 2011
  • 05:00 PM
  • 1,314 views

Walk Along the Paper Trail: Trail of T1Rs

by Michael Patterson in ...And You Will Know Me By The Trail of Papers

Taste receptors on the tongue transduce the chemical information of food into neuronal signals.  As of now, people have identified a wide variety of receptors for sweet, sour, salty, bitter, umami, fat, carbonation, and water. Three of the taste qualities - bitter, sweet, and umami - are transduced by G-protein coupled receptors. This is the story of how the sweet and umami receptors were ... Read more »

Nelson, G., Hoon, M., Chandrashekar, J., Zhang, Y., Ryba, N., & Zuker, C. (2001) Mammalian Sweet Taste Receptors. Cell, 106(3), 381-390. DOI: 10.1016/S0092-8674(01)00451-2  

Nelson, G., Chandrashekar, J., Hoon, M., Feng, L., Zhao, G., Ryba, N., & Zuker, C. (2002) An amino-acid taste receptor. Nature, 416(6877), 199-202. DOI: 10.1038/nature726  

  • July 25, 2011
  • 05:00 PM
  • 1,200 views

Walk Along the Paper Trail: Satiating Trail Mix

by Michael Patterson in ...And You Will Know Me By The Trail of Papers

In the last trek we took, I wrote about two seminal papers that describe taste coding in gustatory cortex. Today I'm going to cover a followup paper which described satiety's effects on gustatory coding.
... Read more »

de Araujo IE, Gutierrez R, Oliveira-Maia AJ, Pereira A Jr, Nicolelis MA, & Simon SA. (2006) Neural ensemble coding of satiety states. Neuron, 51(4), 483-94. PMID: 16908413  

  • July 11, 2011
  • 06:02 PM
  • 928 views

A Walk Along the Paper Trail: Katzogenesis

by Michael Patterson in ...And You Will Know Me By The Trail of Papers

While the last few walks have covered taste receptors, I'm more interested in the central representation of taste.  When you taste something the information is relayed from the taste receptors by three facial nerves to the brainstem (NST), then to the thalamus (VPMpc), and from there to gustatory cortex (GC).  The NST also projects to the amygdala and lateral hypothalamus, sending reward and ... Read more »

Katz DB, Simon SA, & Nicolelis MA. (2001) Dynamic and multimodal responses of gustatory cortical neurons in awake rats. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 21(12), 4478-89. PMID: 11404435  

Katz DB, Simon SA, & Nicolelis MA. (2002) Taste-specific neuronal ensembles in the gustatory cortex of awake rats. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 22(5), 1850-7. PMID: 11880514  

  • July 4, 2011
  • 08:00 PM
  • 1,071 views

A Walk Along the Paper Trail: A Cannabinoid Trail Mix

by Michael Patterson in ...And You Will Know Me By The Trail of Papers

It's grant writing time here at the Paper Trail, which means reading lots of papers to cite in the background section of the grant.  I'm going to cover my favourite paper that I've discovered, which shows that endocannabinoids can directly modulate taste receptors.

More than meets the tongue


Flavour is a tricky perception.  It's obviously dominated by how things taste, but also influenced by ... Read more »

Yoshida R, Ohkuri T, Jyotaki M, Yasuo T, Horio N, Yasumatsu K, Sanematsu K, Shigemura N, Yamamoto T, Margolskee RF.... (2010) Endocannabinoids selectively enhance sweet taste. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(2), 935-9. PMID: 20080779  

  • June 27, 2011
  • 05:00 PM
  • 946 views

A Walk Along the Paper Trail: Bitter Trail Mix

by Michael Patterson in ...And You Will Know Me By The Trail of Papers

A summary of one of the first papers to report the bitter taste receptrs... Read more »

CHANDRASHEKAR, J., Ken L Mueller1, Mark A Hoon2, Elliot Adler2, Luxin Feng3, Wei Guo1, Charles S Zuker1, §, *, and Nicholas J.P Ryba2, §. (2000) T2Rs Function as Bitter Taste Receptors. Cell, 100(6), 703-711. DOI: 10.1016/S0092-8674(00)80706-0  

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