The emergence of functional microcircuits in visual cortex

Ko, Ho and Cossell, Lee and Baragli, Chiara and Antolik, Jan and Clopath, Claudia and Hofer, Sonja B. and Mrsic-Flogel, Thomas D.. (2013) The emergence of functional microcircuits in visual cortex. Nature, 496 (7443). pp. 96-100.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/49626/

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Sensory processing occurs in neocortical microcircuits in which synaptic connectivity is highly structured and excitatory neurons form subnetworks that process related sensory information. However, the developmental mechanisms underlying the formation of functionally organized connectivity in cortical microcircuits remain unknown. Here we directly relate patterns of excitatory synaptic connectivity to visual response properties of neighbouring layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons in mouse visual cortex at different postnatal ages, using two-photon calcium imaging in vivo and multiple whole-cell recordings in vitro. Although neural responses were already highly selective for visual stimuli at eye opening, neurons responding to similar visual features were not yet preferentially connected, indicating that the emergence of feature selectivity does not depend on the precise arrangement of local synaptic connections. After eye opening, local connectivity reorganized extensively: more connections formed selectively between neurons with similar visual responses and connections were eliminated between visually unresponsive neurons, but the overall connectivity rate did not change. We propose a sequential model of cortical microcircuit development based on activity-dependent mechanisms of plasticity whereby neurons first acquire feature preference by selecting feedforward inputs before the onset of sensory experience--a process that may be facilitated by early electrical coupling between neuronal subsets--and then patterned input drives the formation of functional subnetworks through a redistribution of recurrent synaptic connections.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Biozentrum > Former Organization Units Biozentrum > Neuronal circuits and brain function (Hofer)
UniBasel Contributors:Hofer, Sonja and Mrsic-Flogel, Thomas and Cossell, Lee
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:30 Nov 2017 13:04
Deposited On:30 Nov 2017 13:04

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