Origins of cortical layer V surround receptive fields in the rat barrel cortex.

Article date: 2010/5/4

PubMed ID: 3019750

Journal name: Journal of neurophysiology (ISSN: 1522-1598)

DOI: 10.1152/jn.00560.2009


Layer IV of the barrel cortex contains an anatomical map of the contralateral whisker pad, which serves as a useful reference in relating receptive field properties of cells to the cortical columns in which they reside. Recent studies have shown that the degree to which the surround receptive fields of layer IV cells are generated intracortically or subcortically depends on whether they lie in barrel or septal columns. To investigate whether this is true for layer V cells, we blocked intracortical activity in the barrel cortex by infusing muscimol from the cortical surface and measuring spike responses to sensory stimulation in the presence of locally iontophoresed bicuculline. Layer V cells beneath barrels had small subcortically generated single- or double-whisker center receptive fields and larger intracortically generated six to seven whisker surround receptive fields. Conversely, septally located cells received multiwhisker input from both subcortical and cortical sources. Most properties of layer Va and layer Vb cells were very similar. However, layer Vb barrel neurons showed a relative lack of phasic inhibition evoked from sensory input compared with layer Va cells. The direct thalamic input to the layer V cells was not sufficient to evoke a sensory response in the absence of input from superficial layers. These findings suggest that despite the apparent overt similarity of layer V receptive fields, barrel and septal subdivisions process different sources of information within the barrel cortex.

Author List: Wright Nicholas, Fox Kevin

Publication Types: Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Article Date: 2009/11/25

Substances mentioned in the article:

Mesh terms: Afferent Pathways/physiology; Animals; Nerve Net/physiology; Rats; Rats, Long-Evans; Somatosensory Cortex/physiology; Touch/physiology; Vibrissae/innervation;

Citations: - 6512012

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