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J Neurosci. 2009 Apr 1;29(13):4089-95. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5393-08.2009.

Septal neurons in barrel cortex derive their receptive field input from the lemniscal pathway.

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Department of Morphological Brain Science, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan.


Barrel-related circuits in the somatosensory cortex of rodents process vibrissal information conveyed through the lemniscal pathway. Yet, the origin of vibrissal input to interbarrrel regions (septa) remains an unsettled issue. A recurring proposal that never received conclusive experimental support is that septa-related circuits process paralemniscal inputs conveyed through the posterior group of the thalamus. Here we show that the receptive field of septal cells is independent of paralemniscal inputs, and that septal cells derive their receptive field input from neurons in the dorsal part of the thalamic barreloids. This result provides the missing piece of evidence for a separate pathway of vibrissal information that projects to septal columns of the barrel cortex.

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