Maik C Stüttgen

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The rat whisker system has evolved into in an excellent model system for sensory processing from the periphery to cortical stages. However, to elucidate how sensory processing finally relates to percepts, methods to assess psychophysical performance pertaining to precise stimulus kinematics are needed. Here, we present a head-fixed, behaving rat preparation(More)
The overwhelming majority of research in the neurosciences employs P-values stemming from tests of statistical significance to decide on the presence or absence of an effect of some treatment variable. Although a continuous variable, the P-value is commonly used to reach a dichotomous decision about the presence of an effect around an arbitrary criterion of(More)
Signal detection theoretical analyses of spike counts have revealed that some cortical neurons can exceed psychophysical sensitivity in cases where a sensory signal is specified exactly. It is not known whether this finding holds in the more natural situation where signal occurrence is temporally uncertain. We investigated the ability of rat barrel cortex(More)
This paper describes experimental techniques with head-fixed, operantly conditioned rodents that allow the control of stimulus presentation and tracking of motor output at hitherto unprecedented levels of spatio-temporal precision. Experimental procedures for the surgery and behavioral training are presented. We place particular emphasis on potential(More)
Rats explore environments by sweeping their whiskers across objects and surfaces. Both sensor movement and repetitive sweeping typical for this behavior require that vibrotactile signals are integrated over time. While temporal integration properties of neurons along the whisker somatosensory pathway have been studied extensively, the consequences for(More)
Understanding the neural code underlying perception requires the mapping of physical stimulus parameters to both psychophysical decisions and neuronal responses. Here, we employed a novel psychophysical task in head-fixed rats to measure discriminability of vibrotactile whisker deflections. Rats could discriminate 90 Hz from 60 Hz pulsatile stimuli if(More)
Responses of rat trigeminal ganglion neurons to longitudinal whisker stimulation. Rats use their mobile set of whiskers to actively explore their environment. Parameters that play a role to generate movement dynamics of the whisker shaft within the follicle, thus activating primary afferents, are manifold: among them are mechanical properties of the(More)
Efforts to understand nervous system structure and function have received new impetus from the federal Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative. Comparative analyses can contribute to this effort by leading to the discovery of general principles of neural circuit design, information processing, and(More)
Single-unit recordings conducted during perceptual decision-making tasks have yielded tremendous insights into the neural coding of sensory stimuli. In such experiments, detection or discrimination behavior (the psychometric data) is observed in parallel with spike trains in sensory neurons (the neurometric data). Frequently, candidate neural codes for(More)
Pigeons responded in a perceptual categorization task with six different stimuli (shades of gray), three of which were to be classified as "light" or "dark", respectively. Reinforcement probability for correct responses was varied from 0.2 to 0.6 across blocks of sessions and was unequal for correct light and dark responses. Introduction of a new(More)