Activity in motor-sensory projections reveals distributed coding in somatosensation

Leopoldo Petreanu, Diego A. Gutnisky, Daniel Huber, Ning Long Xu, Dan H. Oconnor, Lin Tian, Loren Looger, Karel Svoboda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

171 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cortical-feedback projections to primary sensory areas terminate most heavily in layer 1 (L1) of the neocortex, where they make synapses with tuft dendrites of pyramidal neurons. L1 input is thought to provide contextual information, but the signals transmitted by L1 feedback remain uncharacterized. In the rodent somatosensory system, the spatially diffuse feedback projection from vibrissal motor cortex (vM1) to vibrissal somatosensory cortex (vS1, also known as the barrel cortex) may allow whisker touch to be interpreted in the context of whisker position to compute object location. When mice palpate objects with their whiskers to localize object features, whisker touch excites vS1 and later vM1 in a somatotopic manner. Here we use axonal calcium imaging to track activity in vM1-vS1 afferents in L1 of the barrel cortex while mice performed whisker-dependent object localization. Spatially intermingled individual axons represent whisker movements, touch and other behavioural features. In a subpopulation of axons, activity depends on object location and persists for seconds after touch. Neurons in the barrel cortex thus have information to integrate movements and touches of multiple whiskers over time, key components of object identification and navigation by active touch.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-303
Number of pages5
JournalNature
Volume489
Issue number7415
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 13 2012

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Vibrissae
Touch
Motor Activity
Axons
Somatosensory Cortex
Pyramidal Cells
Neocortex
Motor Cortex
Dendrites
Synapses
Rodentia
Calcium
Neurons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Petreanu, L., Gutnisky, D. A., Huber, D., Xu, N. L., Oconnor, D. H., Tian, L., ... Svoboda, K. (2012). Activity in motor-sensory projections reveals distributed coding in somatosensation. Nature, 489(7415), 299-303. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature11321

Activity in motor-sensory projections reveals distributed coding in somatosensation. / Petreanu, Leopoldo; Gutnisky, Diego A.; Huber, Daniel; Xu, Ning Long; Oconnor, Dan H.; Tian, Lin; Looger, Loren; Svoboda, Karel.

In: Nature, Vol. 489, No. 7415, 13.09.2012, p. 299-303.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Petreanu, L, Gutnisky, DA, Huber, D, Xu, NL, Oconnor, DH, Tian, L, Looger, L & Svoboda, K 2012, 'Activity in motor-sensory projections reveals distributed coding in somatosensation', Nature, vol. 489, no. 7415, pp. 299-303. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature11321
Petreanu L, Gutnisky DA, Huber D, Xu NL, Oconnor DH, Tian L et al. Activity in motor-sensory projections reveals distributed coding in somatosensation. Nature. 2012 Sep 13;489(7415):299-303. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature11321
Petreanu, Leopoldo ; Gutnisky, Diego A. ; Huber, Daniel ; Xu, Ning Long ; Oconnor, Dan H. ; Tian, Lin ; Looger, Loren ; Svoboda, Karel. / Activity in motor-sensory projections reveals distributed coding in somatosensation. In: Nature. 2012 ; Vol. 489, No. 7415. pp. 299-303.
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