Visually Evoked Spiking Evolves While Spontaneous Ongoing Dynamics Persist

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Neurons in the primary visual cortex spontaneously spike even when there are no visual stimuli. It is unknown whether the spiking evoked by visual stimuli is just a modification of the spontaneous ongoing cortical spiking dynamics or whether the spontaneous spiking state disappears and is replaced by evoked spiking. This study of laminar recordings of spontaneous spiking and visually evoked spiking of neurons in the ferret primary visual cortex shows that the spiking dynamics does not change: the spontaneous spiking as well as evoked spiking is controlled by a stable and persisting fixed point attractor. Its existence guarantees that evoked spiking return to the spontaneous state. However, the spontaneous ongoing spiking state and the visual evoked spiking states are qualitatively different and are separated by a threshold (separatrix). The functional advantage of this organization is that it avoids the need for a system reorganization following visual stimulation, and impedes the transition of spontaneous spiking to evoked spiking and the propagation of spontaneous spiking from layer 4 to layers 2-3.

Original languageEnglish
Article number183
JournalFrontiers in Systems Neuroscience
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2016

ID: 161554965