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Motion/direction-sensitive thalamic neurons project extensively to the middle layers of primary visual cortex

By Jun Zhuang, Yun Wang, Naveen D Ouellette, Emily Turschak, Rylan Larsen, Kevin T Takasaki, Tanya Daigle, Bosiljka Tasic, Jack Waters, Hongkui Zeng, R. Clay Reid

Posted 09 Jul 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.07.07.451534

The motion/direction-sensitive and location-sensitive neurons are two major functional types in mouse visual thalamus that project to the primary visual cortex (V1). It has been proposed that the motion/direction-sensitive neurons mainly target the superficial layers in V1, in contrast to the location-sensitive neurons which mainly target the middle layers. Here, by imaging calcium activities of motion/direction-sensitive and location-sensitive axons in V1, we find no evidence for these cell-type specific laminar biases at population level. Furthermore, using a novel approach to reconstruct single-axon structures with identified in vivo response types, we show that, at single-axon level, the motion/direction-sensitive axons have middle layer preferences and project more densely to the middle layers than the location-sensitive axons. Overall, our results demonstrate that Motion/direction-sensitive thalamic neurons project extensively to the middle layers of V1, challenging the current view of the thalamocortical organizations in the mouse visual system.

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