Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Neurosci. 2010 Mar;13(3):369-78. doi: 10.1038/nn.2501. Epub 2010 Feb 21.

Stimulus onset quenches neural variability: a widespread cortical phenomenon.

Author information

1
Department of Electrical Engineering, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA. church@stanford.edu

Abstract

Neural responses are typically characterized by computing the mean firing rate, but response variability can exist across trials. Many studies have examined the effect of a stimulus on the mean response, but few have examined the effect on response variability. We measured neural variability in 13 extracellularly recorded datasets and one intracellularly recorded dataset from seven areas spanning the four cortical lobes in monkeys and cats. In every case, stimulus onset caused a decline in neural variability. This occurred even when the stimulus produced little change in mean firing rate. The variability decline was observed in membrane potential recordings, in the spiking of individual neurons and in correlated spiking variability measured with implanted 96-electrode arrays. The variability decline was observed for all stimuli tested, regardless of whether the animal was awake, behaving or anaesthetized. This widespread variability decline suggests a rather general property of cortex, that its state is stabilized by an input.

PMID:
20173745
PMCID:
PMC2828350
DOI:
10.1038/nn.2501
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Publication types, MeSH terms, Grant support

Publication types

MeSH terms

Grant support

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center