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Published on June 4, 2024 Updated on June 5, 2024

on the June 18, 2024


Campus Valrose

Chemistry Amphitheatre / Amphithéatre Chimie 

Talk by Prof. Rick Gerkin (Arizona State University), organized by ICN

Abstract: Quantitative maps connecting sensory phenomena with each other and with physical stimuli are essential to understanding the sensory world and the neural computations that underlie it. Maps for normal color vision have existed in vision for >100 years (e.g. the color wheel), but have remained elusive in olfaction (there is no smell wheel). I describe a novel approach to solving this problem, linked with new datasets of unprecedented size in olfaction, leading to a performant model that achieves each of the following: (1) unification of previously disparate psychophysical measurements under a single geometry; (2) human-level performance in olfactory prediction tasks; (3) an understanding of olfactory perception in terms of nature's metabolic graph; and (4) computational molecular screening for novel odorants and insect repellents.