Infoscience

Journal article

Voltage-sensitive dye imaging of mouse neocortex during a whisker detection task

Sensorimotor processing occurs in a highly distributed manner in the mammalian neocortex. The spatiotemporal dynamics of electrical activity in the dorsal mouse neocortex can be imaged using voltage-sensitive dyes (VSDs) with near-millisecond temporal resolution and similar to 100-mu m spatial resolution. Here, we trained mice to lick a water reward spout after a 1-ms deflection of the C2 whisker, and we imaged cortical dynamics during task execution with VSD RH1691. Responses to whisker deflection were highly dynamic and spatially highly distributed, exhibiting high variability from trial to trial in amplitude and spatiotemporal dynamics. We differentiated trials based on licking and whisking behavior. Hit trials, in which the mouse licked after the whisker stimulus, were accompanied by overall greater depolarization compared to miss trials, with the strongest hit versus miss differences being found in frontal cortex. Prestimulus whisking decreased behavioral performance by increasing the fraction of miss trials, and these miss trials had attenuated cortical sensorimotor responses. Our data suggest that the spatiotemporal dynamics of depolarization in mouse sensorimotor cortex evoked by a single brief whisker deflection are subject to important behavioral modulation during the execution of a simple, learned, goal-directed sensorimotor transformation. (C) The Authors. Published by SPIE under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

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