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Internal brain states form key determinants for sensory perception, sensorimotor coordination and learning. A prominent reflection of different brain states in the mammalian central nervous system is the presence of distinct patterns of cortical synchrony, as revealed by extracellular recordings of the electroencephalogram, local field potential and action(More)
To investigate synaptic events underlying sensory perception, we made whole-cell membrane potential recordings of barrel cortex neurons in awake mice while recording whisker-related behavior. During quiet periods, we recorded slow, large-amplitude membrane potential changes, which switched during whisking to small, fast fluctuations that were correlated(More)
Neuronal response properties are typically probed by intracellular measurements of current-voltage (I-V) relationships during application of current or voltage steps. Here we demonstrate the measurement of a novel I-V curve measured while the neuron exhibits a fluctuating voltage and emits spikes. This dynamic I-V curve requires only a few tens of seconds(More)
Neuroscience produces a vast amount of data from an enormous diversity of neurons. A neuronal classification system is essential to organize such data and the knowledge that is derived from them. Classification depends on the unequivocal identification of the features that distinguish one type of neuron from another. The problems inherent in this are(More)
Neocortical GABAergic neurons have diverse molecular, structural and electrophysiological features, but the functional correlates of this diversity are largely unknown. We found unique membrane potential dynamics of somatostatin-expressing (SOM) neurons in layer 2/3 of the primary somatosensory barrel cortex of awake behaving mice. SOM neurons were(More)
Cortical dynamics can be imaged at high spatiotemporal resolution with voltage-sensitive dyes (VSDs) and calcium-sensitive dyes (CaSDs). We combined these two imaging techniques using epifluorescence optics together with whole cell recordings to measure the spatiotemporal dynamics of activity in the mouse somatosensory barrel cortex in vitro and in the(More)
Classical studies of mammalian movement control define a prominent role for the primary motor cortex. Investigating the mouse whisker system, we found an additional and equally direct pathway for cortical motor control driven by the primary somatosensory cortex. Whereas activity in primary motor cortex directly evokes exploratory whisker protraction,(More)
We investigated the impact of thalamus on ongoing cortical activity in the awake, behaving mouse. We demonstrate that the desynchronized cortical state during active behavior is driven by a centrally generated increase in thalamic action potential firing, which can also be mimicked by optogenetic stimulation of the thalamus. The thalamus therefore is key in(More)
The primary somatosensory barrel cortex processes tactile vibrissae information, allowing rodents to actively perceive spatial and textural features of their immediate surroundings. Each whisker on the snout is individually represented in the neocortex by an anatomically identifiable 'barrel' specified by the segregated termination zones of thalamocortical(More)
Neocortical activity can evoke sensory percepts, but the cellular mechanisms remain poorly understood. We trained mice to detect single brief whisker stimuli and report perceived stimuli by licking to obtain a reward. Pharmacological inactivation and optogenetic stimulation demonstrated a causal role for the primary somatosensory barrel cortex. Whole-cell(More)