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Multilaminar networks of cortical neurons integrate common inputs from sensory thalamus

Nature Neuroscience volume 19, pages 10341040 (2016) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Neurons in the thalamorecipient layers of sensory cortices integrate thalamic and recurrent cortical input. Cortical neurons form fine-scale, functionally cotuned networks, but whether interconnected cortical neurons within a column process common thalamocortical inputs is unknown. We tested how local and thalamocortical connectivity relate to each other by analyzing cofluctuations of evoked responses in cortical neurons after photostimulation of thalamocortical axons. We found that connected pairs of pyramidal neurons in layer (L) 4 of mouse visual cortex share more inputs from the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus than nonconnected pairs. Vertically aligned connected pairs of L4 and L2/3 neurons were also preferentially contacted by the same thalamocortical axons. Our results provide a circuit mechanism for the observed amplification of sensory responses by L4 circuits. They also show that sensory information is concurrently processed in L4 and L2/3 by columnar networks of interconnected neurons contacted by the same thalamocortical axons.

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Change history

  • 12 July 2016

    In the version of this article initially published online, the abstract referred to connected pairs of L4 and L2 and 3 (L2/3) neurons. It should have read L4 and L2/3 neurons. The error has been corrected for the print, PDF and HTML versions of this article.

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Acknowledgements

We thank G. Shepherd, S. Peron, B. Atallah, H. Young, M. Fridman, A. Renart, S. Druckmann, T. Marques and C. Machens for comments on the manuscript. This work was supported by fellowships from Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia to N.A.M. and J.B., a Marie Curie (PCIG12-GA-2012-334353) grant and a Human Frontier Science Program grant to L.P. and by the Champalimaud Foundation.

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Affiliations

  1. Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme, Champalimaud Center for the Unknown, Lisbon, Portugal.

    • Nicolás A Morgenstern
    • , Jacques Bourg
    •  & Leopoldo Petreanu

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Contributions

N.A.M. and L.P. designed the study. L.P. built the experimental setup. N.A.M. performed the experiments. J.B. developed the model. N.A.M. and L.P. analyzed the data. N.A.M and L.P. wrote the manuscript with input from J.B.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Leopoldo Petreanu.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.4339

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