Primary visual cortex (V1) has been the focus of extensive neurophysiological investigation, and its laminar organization provides a key exemplar of the functional logic of neocortical microcircuits. Using newly developed high-density, linear array probes, we measured visual responses from large populations of simultaneously recorded neurons distributed across layers of macaque V1. In single recordings, myriad differences in the functional properties of neuronal subpopulations could be observed. In particular, we found that although standard measurements of orientation selectivity yielded only minor differences between laminar compartments, decoding of stimulus orientation from layer 4C responses was superior to that of both superficial and deep layers within the same cortical column. The superior orientation discrimination within layer 4C was associated with greater response reliability of individual neurons rather than lower correlated activity with neuronal populations. The results demonstrate the utility of high-density electrophysiology in revealing the functional organization and network properties of neocortical microcircuits in single experiments.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience