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Cortical connectivity and sensory coding

Nature volume 503, pages 5158 (07 November 2013) | Download Citation

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Abstract

The sensory cortex contains a wide array of neuronal types, which are connected together into complex but partially stereotyped circuits. Sensory stimuli trigger cascades of electrical activity through these circuits, causing specific features of sensory scenes to be encoded in the firing patterns of cortical populations. Recent research is beginning to reveal how the connectivity of individual neurons relates to the sensory features they encode, how differences in the connectivity patterns of different cortical cell classes enable them to encode information using different strategies, and how feedback connections from higher-order cortex allow sensory information to be integrated with behavioural context.

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Acknowledgements

We thank B. Rudy, G. Buzsaki, M. Hausser, B. Haider, S. Hofer, R. Bruno and M. Carandini for comments on the manuscript. K.D.H. is supported by the Wellcome Trust, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and US National Institutes of Health. T.M.-F. is supported by the Wellcome Trust and European Research Council.

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Affiliations

  1. UCL Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG, UK

    • Kenneth D. Harris
  2. UCL Department of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology, 21 University Street, London WC1E 6DE, UK

    • Kenneth D. Harris
    •  & Thomas D. Mrsic-Flogel
  3. Biozentrum, University of Basel, Klingelbergstrasse 50/70, CH - 4056 Basel, Switzerland

    • Thomas D. Mrsic-Flogel

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Contributions

K.D.H. and T.M.-F. wrote the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Kenneth D. Harris or Thomas D. Mrsic-Flogel.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/nature12654

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