bioRxiv | 2019

A survey of spiking activity reveals a functional hierarchy of mouse corticothalamic visual areas



The mammalian visual system, from retina to neocortex, has been extensively studied at both anatomical and functional levels. Anatomy indicates the cortico-thalamic system is hierarchical, but characterization of cellular-level functional interactions across multiple levels of this hierarchy is lacking, partially due to the challenge of simultaneously recording activity across numerous regions. Here, we describe a large, open dataset (part of the Allen Brain Observatory) that surveys spiking from units in six cortical and two thalamic regions responding to a battery of visual stimuli. Using spike cross-correlation analysis, we find that inter-area functional connectivity mirrors the anatomical hierarchy from the Allen Mouse Brain Connectivity Atlas. Classical functional measures of hierarchy, including visual response latency, receptive field size, phase-locking to a drifting grating stimulus, and autocorrelation timescale are all correlated with the anatomical hierarchy. Moreover, recordings during a visual task support the behavioral relevance of hierarchical processing. Overall, this dataset and the hierarchy we describe provide a foundation for understanding coding and dynamics in the mouse cortico-thalamic visual system.

Volume None
Pages None
DOI 10.1101/805010
Language English
Journal bioRxiv

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