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Cortical feed-forward networks for binding different streams of sensory information


Different streams of sensory information are transmitted to the cortex where they are merged into a percept in a process often termed 'binding.' Using recordings from triplets of rat cortical layer 2/3 and layer 5 pyramidal neurons, we show that specific subnetworks within layer 5 receive input from different layer 2/3 subnetworks. This cortical microarchitecture may represent a mechanism that enables the main output of the cortex (layer 5) to bind different features of a sensory stimulus.

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Figure 1: L2/3 neurons target the same L5 subnetwork.
Figure 2: L5 neurons integrate inputs from different L2/3 subnetworks.


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We thank C. Stricker and J. Bekkers for help with the analysis and F. Helmchen, C. Gee and W. Schweer for comments on the manuscript.

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Authors and Affiliations



B.M.K. designed the experiments and did the calculations; B.M.K. and J.J.L. performed the experiments and data analysis; B.M.K., J.J.L. and G.J.S. jointly discussed the results and wrote the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Björn M Kampa.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Supplementary information

Supplementary Figure 1

Integrative feed-forward networks in the neocortex. (PDF 41 kb)

Supplementary Methods (PDF 29 kb)

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Kampa, B., Letzkus, J. & Stuart, G. Cortical feed-forward networks for binding different streams of sensory information. Nat Neurosci 9, 1472–1473 (2006).

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