Coding of object location in the vibrissal thalamocortical system

Yu, C., Horev, G., Rubin, N., Derdikman, D., Haidarliu, S., Ahissar, E. (March 2015) Coding of object location in the vibrissal thalamocortical system. Cereb Cortex, 25 (3). pp. 563-77. ISSN 1460-2199 (Electronic)1047-3211 (Linking)

DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bht241


In whisking rodents, object location is encoded at the receptor level by a combination of motor and sensory related signals. Recoding of the encoded signals can result in various forms of internal representations. Here, we examined the coding schemes occurring at the first forebrain level that receives inputs necessary for generating such internal representations--the thalamocortical network. Single units were recorded in 8 thalamic and cortical stations in artificially whisking anesthetized rats. Neuronal representations of object location generated across these stations and expressed in response latency and magnitude were classified based on graded and binary coding schemes. Both graded and binary coding schemes occurred across the entire thalamocortical network, with a general tendency of graded-to-binary transformation from thalamus to cortex. Overall, 63% of the neurons of the thalamocortical network coded object position in their firing. Thalamocortical responses exhibited a slow dynamics during which the amount of coded information increased across 4-5 whisking cycles and then stabilized. Taken together, the results indicate that the thalamocortical network contains dynamic mechanisms that can converge over time on multiple coding schemes of object location, schemes which essentially transform temporal coding to rate coding and gradual to labeled-line coding.

Item Type: Paper
Uncontrolled Keywords: active sensing anesthetized rats artificial whisking convergence dynamics neuronal representations touch
Subjects: organism description > animal behavior
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > tissues types and functions > cerebral cortex
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > tissues types and functions > thalamus
organism description > animal behavior > vibrissa motor cortex
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL Post Doctoral Fellows
CSHL labs > Mills lab
Depositing User: Matt Covey
Date: March 2015
Date Deposited: 07 May 2015 16:51
Last Modified: 07 May 2015 16:51
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