Late emergence of the vibrissa direction selectivity map in the rat barrel cortex

by Yves Kremer, Jean-François Léger, Dan Goodman, Romain Brette, Laurent Bourdieu
Abstract:
In the neocortex, neuronal selectivities for multiple sensorimotor modalities are often distributed in topographical maps thought to emerge during a restricted period in early postnatal development. Rodent barrel cortex contains a somatotopic map for vibrissa identity, but the existence of maps representing other tactile features has not been clearly demonstrated. We addressed the issue of the existence in the rat cortex of an intrabarrel map for vibrissa movement direction using in vivo two-photon imaging. We discovered that the emergence of a direction map in rat barrel cortex occurs long after all known critical periods in the somatosensory system. This map is remarkably specific, taking a pinwheel-like form centered near the barrel center and aligned to the barrel cortex somatotopy. We suggest that this map may arise from intracortical mechanisms and demonstrate by simulation that the combination of spike-timing-dependent plasticity at synapses between layer 4 and layer 2/3 and realistic pad stimulation is sufficient to produce such a map. Its late emergence long after other classical maps suggests that experience-dependent map formation and refinement continue throughout adult life.
Reference:
Yves Kremer, Jean-François Léger, Dan Goodman, Romain Brette, Laurent Bourdieu, 2011.Late emergence of the vibrissa direction selectivity map in the rat barrel cortex, The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, volume 31.
Bibtex Entry:
@article{Kremer2011,
 abstract = {In the neocortex, neuronal selectivities for multiple sensorimotor modalities are often distributed in topographical maps thought to emerge during a restricted period in early postnatal development. Rodent barrel cortex contains a somatotopic map for vibrissa identity, but the existence of maps representing other tactile features has not been clearly demonstrated. We addressed the issue of the existence in the rat cortex of an intrabarrel map for vibrissa movement direction using in vivo two-photon imaging. We discovered that the emergence of a direction map in rat barrel cortex occurs long after all known critical periods in the somatosensory system. This map is remarkably specific, taking a pinwheel-like form centered near the barrel center and aligned to the barrel cortex somatotopy. We suggest that this map may arise from intracortical mechanisms and demonstrate by simulation that the combination of spike-timing-dependent plasticity at synapses between layer 4 and layer 2/3 and realistic pad stimulation is sufficient to produce such a map. Its late emergence long after other classical maps suggests that experience-dependent map formation and refinement continue throughout adult life.},
 author = {Kremer, Yves
and L{'e}ger, Jean-Fran{c{c}}ois
and Goodman, Dan
and Brette, Romain
and Bourdieu, Laurent},
 day = {20},
 doi = {10.1523/JNEUROSCI.6541-10.2011},
 issn = {1529-2401},
 journal = {The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience},
 keyword = {Vibrissae},
 language = {eng},
 month = {Jul},
 number = {29},
 pages = {10689--10700},
 pmid = {21775612},
 title = {Late emergence of the vibrissa direction selectivity map in the rat barrel cortex.},
 volume = {31},
 year = {2011}
}