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Receptive-field construction in cortical inhibitory interneurons

Nature Neuroscience volume 5, pages 403404 (2002) | Download Citation

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  • An Erratum to this article was published on 01 July 2002

Abstract

In the somatosensory 'barrel' cortex1 (where each barrel represents an individual whisker) the receptive fields of cortical spiny neurons show considerable specificity for the direction of whisker displacement, as do the receptive fields of thalamocortical (TC) neurons that provide input to the barrels. In contrast, putative fast-spike inhibitory interneurons in layer 4 of the barrel cortex lack directional preference, but are exquisitely sensitive to low stimulus intensities2,3. Here we show, in adult rabbits, that these sensitive and broadly tuned inhibitory receptive fields are generated by an unselective pooling of convergent functional inputs from topographically aligned TC neurons with very diverse response properties.

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Acknowledgements

We thank K. Lukatela and J.-M. Alonso for comments and discussions. Supported by grants from the National Institutes of Mental Health (MH-64024), the National Science Foundation (IBN-0077694) and the Russian Foundation of Basic Research (00-04-49163).

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Psychology, The University of Connecticut, 406 Babbidge Road, Storrs, Connecticut 06269, USA

    • Harvey A. Swadlow
    •  & Alexander G. Gusev
  2. Moscow Brain Research Institute, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, per. Obukha 5, Moscow 103064, Russia

    • Alexander G. Gusev

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Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Correspondence to Harvey A. Swadlow.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nn847

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