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Science. 1999 Dec 3;286(5446):1943-6.

Linking spontaneous activity of single cortical neurons and the underlying functional architecture.

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  • 1Department of Neurobiology and the Center for Studies of Higher Brain Functions, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel.


The relation between the activity of a single neocortical neuron and the dynamics of the network in which it is embedded was explored by single-unit recordings and real-time optical imaging. The firing rate of a spontaneously active single neuron strongly depends on the instantaneous spatial pattern of ongoing population activity in a large cortical area. Very similar spatial patterns of population activity were observed both when the neuron fired spontaneously and when it was driven by its optimal stimulus. The evoked patterns could be used to reconstruct the spontaneous activity of single neurons.

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