Widespread and Highly Correlated Somato-dendritic Activity in Cortical Layer 5 Neurons.

Affiliation

Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 02139, USA. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

Dendritic integration can expand the information-processing capabilities of neurons. However, the recruitment of active dendritic processing in vivo and its relationship to somatic activity remain poorly understood. Here, we use two-photon GCaMP6f imaging to simultaneously monitor dendritic and somatic compartments in the awake primary visual cortex. Activity in layer 5 pyramidal neuron somata and distal apical trunk dendrites shows surprisingly high functional correlation. This strong coupling persists across neural activity levels and is unchanged by visual stimuli and locomotion. Ex vivo combined somato-dendritic patch-clamp and GCaMP6f recordings indicate that dendritic signals specifically reflect local electrogenesis triggered by dendritic inputs or high-frequency bursts of somatic action potentials. In contrast to the view that dendrites are only sparsely recruited under highly specific conditions in vivo, our results provide evidence that active dendritic integration is a widespread and intrinsic feature of cortical computation.

Keywords

GCaMP6f,V1,calcium imaging,correlated activity,correlation,cortex,dendrite,dendritic spike,layer 5,

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