How do humans solve olfactory cocktail party problem?
We address three basic observations obtained from human psychophysics:
Just noticeable differences in perceived concentration of a single
odor are dC/C ~ 0.1.
- The number of simultaneously perceived SIMPLE odors (composed
only of one chemical) is about 12.
- The number of simultaneously perceived COMPLEX odors is 1-2
(using an objective information theoretical measure).
We show that these observations can be understood using an on-off
model for glomerular response. In this model the response of each
glomerulus is binary. A more detailed model allows us to reproduce
closely conditional probabilities obtained in human psychophysical
experiments on perception of complex odors.