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Information Theory enables the quantification of how much information a neuronal response carries about external stimuli and is hence a natural analytic framework for studying neural coding. The main difficulty in its practical application to spike train analysis is that estimates of neuronal information from experimental data are prone to a systematic(More)
Rats, using their whiskers, have excellent capabilities in texture discrimination. What is the representation of texture in rat somatosensory cortex? We hypothesize that as rats "whisk" over a surface, the spatial frequency of a grooved or pebbled texture is converted to a temporal frequency of whisker vibration. Surface features such as groove depth or(More)
Neuronal responses to ongoing stimulation in many systems change over time, or "adapt." Despite the ubiquity of adaptation, its effects on the stimulus information carried by neurons are often unknown. Here we examine how adaptation affects sensory coding in barrel cortex. We used spike-triggered covariance analysis of single-neuron responses to continuous,(More)
This study explores the nature of population coding in sensory cortex by applying information theoretic analyses to neuron pairs recorded simultaneously from rat barrel cortex. We quantified the roles of individual spikes and spike patterns in encoding whisker stimulus location. 82%-85% of the total information was contained in the timing of individual(More)
Rats use their facial vibrissae ("whiskers") to locate and identify objects. To learn about the neural coding of contact between whiskers and objects, we investigated the representation of single-vibrissa deflection by populations of cortical neurons. Microelectrode arrays, arranged in a geometric 10 x 10 grid, were inserted into the thalamo-recipient(More)
The thalamo-cortical pathway is the crucial sensory gateway into the cerebral cortex. We aimed to determine the nature of the tactile information encoded by neurons in the whisker somatosensory relay nucleus (VPm). We wanted to distinguish whether VPm neurons encode similar stimulus features, acting as a single information channel, or encode diverse(More)
The presence of "maps" in sensory cortex is a hallmark of the mammalian nervous system, but the functional significance of topographic organization has been called into question by physiological studies claiming that patterns of neural behavioral activity transcend topographic boundaries. This paper discusses recent behavioral and physiological studies(More)
The brain's sensory processing systems are modified during perceptual learning. To learn more about the spatial organization of learning-related modifications, we trained rats to utilize the sensory signal from a single intact whisker to carry out a behavioral task. Once a rat had mastered the task, we clipped its "trained" whisker and attached a(More)
Although the timing of single spikes is known to code for time-varying features of a sensory stimulus, it remains unclear whether time is also exploited in the neuronal coding of the spatial structure of the environment, where nontemporal stimulus features are fundamental. This report demonstrates that, in the whisker representation of rat cortex, precise(More)
Rats discriminate texture by whisking their vibrissae across the surfaces of objects. This process induces corresponding vibrissa vibrations, which must be accurately represented by neurons in the somatosensory pathway. In this study, we investigated the neural code for vibrissa motion in the ventroposterior medial (VPm) nucleus of the thalamus by(More)