In response to sensory stimulation, the cortex exhibits an early transient response followed by a late and slower activation pattern. Recent studies suggest that the early component represents features of the stimulus while the late component is associated with stimulus perception. In this work we study how patterns of evoked activity are modified by experience at meso and microcircuit scales using voltage and extracellular glutamate transient recordings over widespread regions of mice dorsal neocortex or single-unit activity recordings with multi-shank silicon probes in rat cortex. We find that repeated tactile or auditory stimulation selectively modifies the spatiotemporal patterns of activity mainly of the late evoked response at the mesoscale and microcircuit levels. This modification results not only in an increase in amplitude of the late response, but also in an increased similarity between the spatiotemporal patterns of the early and late evoked activity across trials. These changes are only present in the sensory area corresponding to the modality that received the repeated stimulation and they persisted up to one hour. Thus, this selective long-lasting spatiotemporal modification of the cortical activity patterns provides new insights about how perception-related cortical activity changes with sensory experience at multiple scales.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience