Visually evoked 3-5 Hz membrane potential oscillations reduce the responsiveness of visual cortex neurons in awake behaving mice

Michael C. Einstein, Pierre Olivier Polack, Duy T. Tran, Peyman Golshani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Low-frequency membrane potential (Vm) oscillations were once thought to only occur in sleeping and anesthetized states. Recently, low-frequency Vm oscillations have been described in inactive awake animals, but it is unclear whether they shape sensory processing in neurons and whether they occur during active awake behavioral states. To answer these questions, we performed two-photon guided whole-cell Vm recordings from primary visual cortex layer 2/3 excitatory and inhibitory neurons in awake mice during passive visual stimulation and performance of visual and auditory discrimination tasks. We recorded stereotyped 3–5 Hz Vm oscillations where the Vm baseline hyperpolarized as the Vm underwent high amplitude rhythmic fluctuations lasting 1–2 s in duration. When 3–5 Hz Vm oscillations coincided with visual cues, excitatory neuron responses to preferred cues were significantly reduced. Despite this disruption to sensory processing, visual cues were critical for evoking 3–5 Hz Vm oscillations when animals performed discrimination tasks and passively viewed drifting grating stimuli. Using pupillometry and animal locomotive speed as indicators of arousal, we found that 3–5 Hz oscillations were not restricted to unaroused states and that they occurred equally in aroused and unaroused states. Therefore, lowfrequency Vm oscillations play a role in shaping sensory processing in visual cortical neurons, even during active wakefulness and decision making.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5084-5098
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume37
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - May 17 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)

Keywords

  • Behavior
  • Cortex
  • Membrane potential
  • Oscillation

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