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

By Joshua H Siegle, Xiaoxuan Jia, Séverine Durand, Sam Gale, Corbett Bennett, Nile Graddis, Greggory Heller, Tamina K Ramirez, Hannah Choi, Jennifer A. Luviano, Peter Groblewski, Ruweida Ahmed, Anton Arkhipov, Amy Bernard, Yazan N. Billeh, Dillan Brown, Michael A. Buice, Nicolas Cain, Shiella Caldejon, Linzy Casal, Andrew Cho, Maggie Chvilicek, Timothy C. Cox, Kael Dai, Daniel J Denman, Saskia E. J. de Vries, Roald Dietzman, Luke Esposito, Colin Farrell, David Feng, John Galbraith, Marina Garrett, Emily C Gelfand, Nicole Hancock, Julie A. Harris, Robert Howard, Brian Hu, Ross Hytnen, Ramakrishnan Iyer, Erika Jessett, Katelyn Johnson, India Kato, Justin Kiggins, Sophie Lambert, Jerome Lecoq, Peter Ledochowitsch, Jung Hoon Lee, Arielle Leon, Yang Li, Elizabeth Liang, Fuhui Long, Kyla Mace, Jose Melchior, Daniel Millman, Tyler Mollenkopf, Chelsea Nayan, Lydia Ng, Kiet Ngo, Thuyahn Nguyen, Philip R. Nicovich, Kat North, Gabriel K. Ocker, Doug Ollerenshaw, Michael Oliver, Marius Pachitariu, Jed Perkins, Melissa Reding, David Reid, Miranda Robertson, Kara Ronellenfitch, Sam Seid, Cliff Slaughterbeck, Michelle Stoecklin, David Sullivan, Ben Sutton, Jackie Swapp, Carol Thompson, Kristen Turner, Wayne Wakeman, Jennifer D. Whitesell, Derric Williams, Ali Williford, Rob Young, Hongkui Zeng, Sarah Naylor, John W. Phillips, R. Clay Reid, Stefan Mihalas, Shawn R. Olsen, Christof Koch

Posted 16 Oct 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/805010

The mammalian visual system, from retina to neocortex, has been extensively studied at both anatomical and functional levels. Anatomy indicates the corticothalamic 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 corticothalamic visual system.

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