A map of angular tuning preference in thalamic barreloids.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


J Neurosci, Volume 23, Issue 33, p.10717-23 (2003)


Action Potentials, Animals, Brain Mapping, Cluster Analysis, Discriminant Analysis, Electroencephalography, Electrophysiology, Female, Fluorescent Dyes, Immunohistochemistry, Male, Neurons, Physical Stimulation, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Stilbamidines, Thalamus, Ventral Thalamic Nuclei, Vibrissae


<p>A double-labeling protocol was used to determine how cells with different angular preferences to whisker motion distribute across the dimensions of a barreloid in the ventral posterior medial nucleus of the rat thalamus. Individual barreloids were labeled retrogradely by injecting Fluoro-Gold in identified barrel columns, and single relay cells (n = 30) pertaining to the labeled barreloids were stained juxtacellularly with Neurobiotin after determination of their angular tuning preference to controlled whisker deflection. Results show that cells with like angular preference are clustered within the barreloids. Those best tuned to forward and upward directions are located principally in the dorsal sector of the barreloid, whereas those best tuned to backward and downward motion are located principally in the central and ventral sectors, respectively. The relationship between cell location and angular preference was assessed by regression, cluster, and discriminant analysis. Together, these tests indicate that barreloids contain a map of shifting angular preference that transposes along the length of a barreloid directional property imposed at the periphery by the circumferential distribution of receptors around the vibrissa follicles.</p>

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