October 20, 2020

State-dependent changes in perception and coding in the mouse somatosensory cortex

An animal’s behavioral state is reflected in the dynamics of cortical population activity and its capacity to process sensory information. To better understand the relationship between behavioral states and information processing, mice are trained to detect varying amplitudes of whisker-deflection under two-photon calcium imaging. Layer 2/3 neurons (n=1436) in the vibrissal primary somatosensory cortex are imaged across different behavioral states, defined based on detection performance (low to high-state) and pupil diameter. The neurometric curve in each behavioral state mirrors the corresponding psychometric performance, with calcium signals predictive of the animal’s choice outcome. High behavioral states are associated with lower network synchrony, extending over shorter cortical distances. The decrease of correlations in variability across neurons in the high state results in enhanced information transmission capacity at the population level. The observed state-dependent changes suggest that the coding regime within the first stage of cortical processing may underlie adaptive routing of relevant information through the sensorimotor system.

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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