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Nat Commun. 2018 Jun 25;9(1):2455. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-04785-6.

Arousal dependent modulation of thalamo-cortical functional interaction.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599, USA.
2
Neurobiology Curriculum, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599, USA.
3
Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599, USA. flavio_frohlich@med.unc.edu.
4
Neurobiology Curriculum, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599, USA. flavio_frohlich@med.unc.edu.
5
Department of Neurology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599, USA. flavio_frohlich@med.unc.edu.
6
Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599, USA. flavio_frohlich@med.unc.edu.
7
Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599, USA. flavio_frohlich@med.unc.edu.
8
Neuroscience Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599, USA. flavio_frohlich@med.unc.edu.

Abstract

Ongoing changes in arousal influence sensory processing and behavioral performance. Yet the circuit-level correlates for this influence remain poorly understood. Here, we investigate how functional interaction between posterior parietal cortex (PPC) and lateral posterior (LP)/Pulvinar is influenced by ongoing fluctuations in pupil-linked arousal, which is a non-invasive measure of neuromodulatory tone in the brain. We find that fluctuations in pupil-linked arousal correlate with changes to PPC to LP/Pulvinar oscillatory interaction, with cortical alpha oscillations driving activity during low arousal states, and LP/Pulvinar driving PPC in the theta frequency band during higher arousal states. Active visual exploration by saccadic eye movements elicits similar transitions in thalamo-cortical interaction. Furthermore, the presentation of naturalistic video stimuli induces thalamo-cortical network states closely resembling epochs of high arousal in the absence of visual input. Thus, neuromodulators may play a role in dynamically sculpting the patterns of thalamo-cortical functional interaction that underlie visual processing.

PMID:
29941957
PMCID:
PMC6018110
DOI:
10.1038/s41467-018-04785-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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