Electrophysiological and firing properties of neurons: categorizing soloists and choristers in primary visual cortex
Bachatène, Lyes; Bharmauria, Vishal; Cattan, Sarah; Chanauria, Nayan; Rouat, Jean; Molotchnikoff, Stéphane
Abstract: Visual processing in the cortex involves various aspects of neuronal properties such as morphological, electrophysiological and molecular. In particular, the neural firing pattern is an important indicator of dynamic circuitry within a neuronal population. Indeed, in microcircuits, neurons act as soloists or choristers wherein the characteristical activity of a ‘soloist’ differs from the firing pattern of a ‘chorister’. Both cell types correlate their respective firing rate with the global populational activity in a unique way. In the present study, we sought to examine the relationship between the spike shape (thin spike neurons and broad spike neurons) of cortical neurons recorded from V1, their firing levels and their propensity to act as soloists or choristers. We found that thin spike neurons, which exhibited higher levels of firing, generally correlate their activity with the neuronal population (choristers). On the other hand, broad spike neurons showed lower levels of firing and demonstrated weak correlations with the assembly (soloists). A major consequence of the present study is: estimating the correlation of neural spike trains with their neighboring population is a predictive indicator of spike waveforms and firing level. Indeed, we found a continuum distribution of coupling strength ranging from weak correlation-strength (attributed to low-firing neurons) to high correlation-strength (attributed to high-firing neurons). The tendency to exhibit high- or low-firing is conducive to the spike shape of neurons. Our results offer new insights into visual processing by showing how high-firing rate neurons (mostly thin spike neurons) could modulate the neuronal responses within cell-assemblies.
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