Recent studies have shown that neuronal stability over time can be estimated by the structure of the spike-count autocorrelation of neuronal populations. This estimation, called the intrinsic timescale, has been computed for several cortical areas and can be used to propose a cortical hierarchy reflecting a scale of temporal receptive windows between areas. In this study, we performed an autocorrelation analysis on neuronal populations of three basal ganglia (BG) nuclei, including the striatum and the subthalamic nucleus (STN), the input structures of the BG, and the external globus pallidus (GPe). The analysis was performed during the baseline period of a motivational visuomotor task in which monkeys had to apply different amounts of force to receive a different amount of reward. We found that the striatum and the STN have longer intrinsic timescales than the GPe. Moreover, our results allow for the placement of these subcortical structures within the already-defined scale of cortical temporal receptive windows. Estimates of intrinsic timescales are important in adding further constraints in the development of computational models of the complex dynamics among these nuclei and throughout cortico-BG-thalamo-cortical loops.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience