Article

Basal forebrain activation enhances cortical coding of natural scenes.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Division of Neurobiology, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA.
Nature Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 14.98). 10/2009; 12(11):1444-9. DOI: 10.1038/nn.2402
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The nucleus basalis of the basal forebrain is an essential component of the neuromodulatory system controlling the behavioral state of an animal and it is thought to be important in regulating arousal and attention. However, the effect of nucleus basalis activation on sensory processing remains poorly understood. Using polytrode recording in rat visual cortex, we found that nucleus basalis stimulation caused prominent decorrelation between neurons and marked improvement in the reliability of neuronal responses to natural scenes. The decorrelation depended on local activation of cortical muscarinic acetylcholine receptors, whereas the increased reliability involved distributed neural circuits, as evidenced by nucleus basalis-induced changes in thalamic responses. Further analysis showed that the decorrelation and increased reliability improved cortical representation of natural stimuli in a complementary manner. Thus, the basal forebrain neuromodulatory circuit, which is known to be activated during aroused and attentive states, acts through both local and distributed mechanisms to improve sensory coding.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
83 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Neuronal firing responses reflect the statistics of visual input and emerge from the interaction with endogenous network dynamics. Artificial visual stimuli presented to animals in which the network dynamics were constrained by anesthetic agents or trained behavioral tasks have provided fundamental understanding of how individual neurons in primary visual cortex respond to input. In contrast, very little is known about the mesoscale network dynamics and their relationship to microscopic spiking activity in the awake animal during free viewing of naturalistic visual input. To address this gap in knowledge, we recorded local field potential (LFP) and multiunit activity (MUA) in all layers of primary visual cortex (V1) of awake, freely viewing ferrets presented with naturalistic visual input (nature movie clips). We found that naturalistic visual stimuli modulated the entire oscillation spectrum; low frequency oscillations were mostly suppressed whereas higher frequency oscillations were enhanced. In average across all cortical layers, stimulus-induced change in delta and alpha power negatively correlated with the MUA responses, whereas sensory-evoked increases in gamma power positively correlated with MUA responses. The time-course of the band-limited power in these frequency bands provided evidence for a model in which naturalistic visual input switched V1 between two distinct, endogenously present activity states defined by the power of low (delta, alpha) and high (gamma) frequency oscillatory activity. Therefore, the two mesoscale activity states delineated in this study may define the engagement of the circuit with processing sensory input at the level of spiking activity. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    Brain Research 12/2014; · 2.83 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The response of neurons in sensory cortex to repeated stimulus presentations is highly variable. To investigate the nature of this variability, we compared the spike activity of neurons in the primary visual cortex (V1) of cats with that of their afferents from lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN), in response to similar stimuli. We found variability to be much higher in V1 than in LGN. To investigate the sources of the additional variability, we measured the spiking activity of large V1 populations and found that much of the variability was shared across neurons: the variable portion of the responses of one neuron could be well predicted from the summed activity of the rest of the neurons. Variability thus mostly reflected global fluctuations affecting all neurons. The size and prevalence of these fluctuations, both in responses to stimuli and in ongoing activity, depended on cortical state, being larger in synchronized states than in more desynchronized states. Contrary to previous reports, these fluctuations invested the overall population, regardless of preferred orientation. The global fluctuations substantially increased variability in single neurons and correlations among pairs of neurons. Once this effect was removed, pairwise correlations were reduced and were similar regardless of cortical state. These results highlight the importance of cortical state in controlling cortical operation and can help reconcile previous studies, which differed widely in their estimate of neuronal variability and pairwise correlations. Copyright © 2015 Schölvinck et al.
    The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 01/2015; 35(1):170-8.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Neural responses in visual cortex depend not only on sensory input but also on behavioral context. One such context is locomotion, which modulates single-neuron activity in primary visual cortex (V1). How locomotion affects neuronal populations across cortical layers and in precortical structures is not well understood. We performed extracellular multielectrode recordings in the visual system of mice during locomotion and stationary periods. We found that locomotion influenced activity of V1 neurons with a characteristic laminar profile and shaped the population response by reducing pairwise correlations. Although the reduction of pairwise correlations was restricted to cortex, locomotion slightly but consistently increased firing rates and controlled tuning selectivity already in the dorsolateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN) of the thalamus. At the level of the eye, increases in locomotion speed were associated with pupil dilation. These findings document further, nonmultiplicative effects of locomotion, reaching earlier processing stages than cortex. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Current Biology 12/2014; · 9.92 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Download
70 Downloads
Available from
May 26, 2014