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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.

Author information




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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