The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is crucial for many cognitive functions. PFC individual neuron activity and ensemble oscillation dynamics have been linked to unique aspects of behavior. However, it remains largely unclear how different neuron types relate to oscillation features. To understand how excitatory and inhibitory neurons in PFC are coordinated by distinct oscillation signatures, we designed a 3-choice auditory discrimination task and used tetrode devices to examine individual PFC neuron activity and ensemble LFP oscillations in task performing mice. We found that PFC neurons and ensemble LFP oscillations exhibited complex sensory evoked responses that are context and task-progression dependent. While both excitatory and inhibitory neurons were transiently modulated at different phases of the task, inhibitory neurons were increasingly recruited as trial progressed compared to excitatory neurons. Inhibitory neurons in general showed higher spike-field coherence with LFP oscillations than excitatory neurons throughout the task period, first at higher frequencies at the beginning of the task, and then transitioned to lower frequencies in the middle of the task that sustained beyond task completion. Together, our results demonstrate that excitatory and inhibitory neurons selectively engage distinct oscillation dynamics during sensory discrimination in mice.
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