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Nature. 2013 Nov 7;503(7474):51-8. doi: 10.1038/nature12654.

Cortical connectivity and sensory coding.

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1] UCL Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG, UK [2] UCL Department of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology, 21 University Street, London WC1E 6DE, UK.


The sensory cortex contains a wide array of neuronal types, which are connected together into complex but partially stereotyped circuits. Sensory stimuli trigger cascades of electrical activity through these circuits, causing specific features of sensory scenes to be encoded in the firing patterns of cortical populations. Recent research is beginning to reveal how the connectivity of individual neurons relates to the sensory features they encode, how differences in the connectivity patterns of different cortical cell classes enable them to encode information using different strategies, and how feedback connections from higher-order cortex allow sensory information to be integrated with behavioural context.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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