Cross-Whisker Adaptation of Neurons in Layer 2/3 of the Rat Barrel Cortex

Yonatan Katz, Ilan Lampl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neurons in the barrel cortex respond preferentially to stimulation of one principal whisker and weakly to several adjacent whiskers. Such integration exists already in layer 4, the pivotal recipient layer of thalamic inputs. Previous studies show that cortical neurons gradually adapt to repeated whisker stimulations and that layer 4 neurons exhibit whisker specific adaptation and no apparent interactions with other whiskers. This study aimed to study the specificity of adaptation of layer 2/3 cortical cells. Towards this aim, we compared the synaptic response of neurons to either repetitive stimulation of one of two responsive whiskers or when repetitive stimulation of the two whiskers was interleaved. We found that in most layer 2/3 cells adaptation is whisker-specific. These findings indicate that despite the multi-whisker receptive fields in the cortex, the adaptation process for each whisker-pathway is mostly independent of other whiskers. A mechanism allowing high responsiveness in complex environments.
Original languageEnglish
Article number646563
Number of pages10
JournalFrontiers in Systems Neuroscience
StatePublished - 28 Apr 2021


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