Diego Contreras

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Neurons in sensory systems respond to stimuli within their receptive fields, but the magnitude of the response depends on specific stimulus features. In the rodent whisker system, the response magnitude to the deflection of a particular whisker is, in most cells, dependent on the direction of deflection. Here we use in vivo intracellular recordings from(More)
In layer 4 (L4) of the rat barrel cortex, a single whisker deflection evokes a stereotyped sequence of excitation followed by inhibition, hypothesized to result in a narrow temporal window for spike output. However, awake rats sweep their whiskers across objects, activating the cortex at frequencies known to induce short-term depression at both excitatory(More)
Attempting to understand how the brain, as a whole, might be organized seems, for the first time, to be a serious topic of inquiry. One aspect of its neuronal organization that seems particularly central to global function is the rich thalamocortical interconnectivity, and most particularly the reciprocal nature of the thalamocortical neuronal loop(More)
To better understand population phenomena in thalamocortical neuronal ensembles, we have constructed a preliminary network model with 3,560 multicompartment neurons (containing soma, branching dendrites, and a portion of axon). Types of neurons included superficial pyramids (with regular spiking [RS] and fast rhythmic bursting [FRB] firing behaviors); RS(More)
Feature selectivity is a fundamental property of sensory cortex neurons, yet the mechanisms underlying its genesis are not fully understood. Using intracellular recordings in vivo from layers 2-6 of rat barrel cortex, we studied the selectivity of neurons to the angular direction of whisker deflection. The spike output and the underlying synaptic response(More)
The spatial and temporal patterns of neocortex activation are determined not only by the dynamic character of the input but also by the intrinsic dynamics of the cortical circuitry. To study the role of afferent input frequency on cortical activation dynamics, the electrical activity of in vitro neocortex slices was imaged during white-matter electrical(More)
Although several lines of evidence suggest that stimulus selectivity in somatosensory and visual cortices is critically dependent on unselective inhibition, particularly in the thalamorecipient layer 4, no comprehensive comparison of the responses of excitatory and inhibitory cells has been conducted. Here, we recorded intracellularly from a large(More)
Information processing in the visual cortex is critically dependent on the input-output relationships of its component neurons. The transformation of synaptic inputs into spike trains depends in turn on the host of intrinsic membrane properties expressed by neurons, which define established electrophysiological cell classes in the neocortex. Here we(More)
We describe a computational model of the principal cell in the nucleus accumbens (NAcb), the medium spiny projection (MSP) neuron. The model neuron, constructed in NEURON, includes all of the known ionic currents in these cells and receives synaptic input from simulated spike trains via NMDA, AMPA, and GABAA receptors. After tuning the model by adjusting(More)