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Nature. 2011 Mar 10;471(7337):177-82. doi: 10.1038/nature09802.

Network anatomy and in vivo physiology of visual cortical neurons.

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  • 1Department of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

Abstract

In the cerebral cortex, local circuits consist of tens of thousands of neurons, each of which makes thousands of synaptic connections. Perhaps the biggest impediment to understanding these networks is that we have no wiring diagrams of their interconnections. Even if we had a partial or complete wiring diagram, however, understanding the network would also require information about each neuron's function. Here we show that the relationship between structure and function can be studied in the cortex with a combination of in vivo physiology and network anatomy. We used two-photon calcium imaging to characterize a functional property--the preferred stimulus orientation--of a group of neurons in the mouse primary visual cortex. Large-scale electron microscopy of serial thin sections was then used to trace a portion of these neurons' local network. Consistent with a prediction from recent physiological experiments, inhibitory interneurons received convergent anatomical input from nearby excitatory neurons with a broad range of preferred orientations, although weak biases could not be rejected.

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PMID:
21390124
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3095821
Free PMC Article

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