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In Vivo Functional Mapping of a Cortical Column at Single-Neuron Resolution

Cell Rep. 2019 Apr 30;27(5):1319-1326.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.04.007.

Authors/Editors: Tischbirek CH, Noda T, Tohmi M, Birkner A, Nelken I, Konnerth A.
Publication Date: 2019


The cerebral cortex is organized in vertical columns that contain neurons with similar functions. The cellular micro-architecture of such columns is an essential determinant of brain dynamics and cortical information processing. However, a detailed understanding of columns is incomplete, even in the best studied cortical regions, and mostly restricted to the upper cortical layers. Here, we developed a two-photon Ca2+-imaging-based method for the serial functional mapping of all pyramidal layers of the mouse primary auditory cortex at single-neuron resolution in individual animals. We demonstrate that the best frequency-responsive neurons are organized in all-layers-crossing narrow columns, with fuzzy boundaries and a bandwidth of about one octave. This micro-architecture is, in many ways, different from what has been reported before, indicating the region and stimulus specificity of functional cortical columns in vivo.

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