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Excitatory synaptic projections to layer 2/3 (L2/3) pyramidal neurons in brain slices from the rat barrel cortex were measured using quantitative laser-scanning photostimulation (LSPS) mapping. In the barrel cortex, cytoarchitectonic "barrels" and "septa" in L4 define a stereotypical array of landmarks, allowing alignment and averaging of LSPS maps from(More)
Cortical layering is a hallmark of the mammalian neocortex and a major determinant of local synaptic circuit organization in sensory systems. In motor cortex, the laminar organization of cortical circuits has not been resolved, although their input-output operations are crucial for motor control. Here, we developed a general approach for estimating(More)
Can neuronal morphology predict functional synaptic circuits? In the rat barrel cortex, 'barrels' and 'septa' delineate an orderly matrix of cortical columns. Using quantitative laser scanning photostimulation we measured the strength of excitatory projections from layer 4 (L4) and L5A to L2/3 pyramidal cells in barrel- and septum-related columns. From(More)
The mammalian motor system is organized around distinct subcortical subsystems, suggesting that the intracortical circuits immediately upstream of spinal cord and basal ganglia might be functionally differentiated as well. We found that the main excitatory pathway in mouse motor cortex, layer 2/3-->5, is fractionated into distinct pathways targeting(More)
Along unmyelinated central axons, synapses occur at focal swellings called axonal varicosities (boutons). The mechanisms regulating how frequently synapses and varicosities occur along axons remain poorly understood. Here, to investigate varicosity distribution patterns and the extent to which they may be conserved across different axons, we analyzed(More)
In the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC), pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons inhibit feeding and neuropeptide-Y (NPY) neurons stimulate feeding. We tested whether neurons in the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (VMH), a known satiety center, activate anorexigenic neuronal pathways in the ARC by projecting either excitatory synaptic inputs to POMC neurons(More)
Rodents move their whiskers to locate and identify objects. Cortical areas involved in vibrissal somatosensation and sensorimotor integration include the vibrissal area of the primary motor cortex (vM1), primary somatosensory cortex (vS1; barrel cortex), and secondary somatosensory cortex (S2). We mapped local excitatory pathways in each area across all(More)
Silencing of the Fmr1 gene causes fragile X syndrome. Although defects in synaptic plasticity in the cerebral cortex have been linked to cognitive impairments in Fmr1 knock-out (ko) mice, the specific cortical circuits affected in the syndrome are unknown. Here, we investigated the development of excitatory projections in the barrel cortex of Fmr1 ko mice.(More)
Tinnitus has been associated with increased spontaneous and evoked activity, increased neural synchrony, and reorganization of tonotopic maps of auditory nuclei. However, the neurotransmitter systems mediating these changes are poorly understood. Here, we developed an in vitro assay that allows us to evaluate the roles of excitation and inhibition in(More)
Whether all action potentials propagate faithfully throughout axon arbors in the mammalian CNS has long been debated, and remains an important issue because many synapses occur far from the soma along extremely thin, unmyelinated, varicosity-laden branches of axon arbors. We detected unitary action potentials along individual axon branches of adult(More)