Ubiquitous neocortical decoding of tactile input patterns

Jonas M.D. Enander, Anton Spanne, Alberto Mazzoni, Fredrik Bengtsson, Calogero Maria Oddo, Henrik Jörntell

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskriftPeer review


Whereas functional localization historically has been a key concept in neuroscience, direct neuronal recordings show that input of a particular modality can be recorded well outside its primary receiving areas in the neocortex. Here, we wanted to explore if such spatially unbounded inputs potentially contain any information about the quality of the input received. We utilized a recently introduced approach to study the neuronal decoding capacity at a high resolution by delivering a set of electrical, highly reproducible spatiotemporal tactile afferent activation patterns to the skin of the contralateral second digit of the forepaw of the anesthetized rat. Surprisingly, we found that neurons in all areas recorded from, across all cortical depths tested, could decode the tactile input patterns, including neurons of the primary visual cortex. Within both somatosensory and visual cortical areas, the combined decoding accuracy of a population of neurons was higher than for the best performing single neuron within the respective area. Such cooperative decoding indicates that not only did individual neurons decode the input, they also did so by generating responses with different temporal profiles compared to other neurons, which suggests that each neuron could have unique contributions to the tactile information processing. These findings suggest that tactile processing in principle could be globally distributed in the neocortex, possibly for comparison with internal expectations and disambiguation processes relying on other modalities.

TidskriftFrontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
StatusPublished - 2019 apr. 12

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Neurovetenskaper


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