High noise correlation between the functionally connected neurons in emergent V1 microcircuits
Bharmauria, Vishal; Bachatene, Lyes; Cattan, Sarah; Chanauria, Nayan; Rouat, Jean; Molotchnikoff, Stéphane
Abstract : Neural correlations (noise correlations and cross-correlograms) are widely studied to infer functional connectivity between neurons. High noise correlations (Rsc) between neurons have been reported to increase the encoding accuracy of a neuronal population; however, low noise correlations have also been documented to play a critical role in cortical microcircuits. Therefore, the role of noise correlations in neural encoding is highly debated. To this aim, through multi-electrodes, we recorded neuronal ensembles in the primary visual cortex of anesthetized cats. By computing cross-correlograms (CCGs), we divulged the functional network (microcircuit) between neurons within an ensemble in relation to a specific orientation. We show that functionally connected neurons systematically exhibit higher noise correlations than functionally unconnected neurons in a microcircuit that is activated in response to a particular orientation. Furthermore, the mean strength of noise correlations for the connected neurons increases steeply than the unconnected neurons as a function of the resolution-window used to calculate noise correlations. We suggest that, neurons that display high noise correlations in emergent microcircuits feature functional connections which are inevitable for information encoding in the primary visual cortex.
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