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Embedding of Cortical Representations by the Superficial Patch System


Da Costa NMA, Girardin CC, Naaman S, Omer,  DB
Department Physiology of Cognitive Processes, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Muir, D., Da Costa NMA, Girardin CC, Naaman S, Omer, D., Ruesch E, Grinvald, A., & Douglas, R. (2011). Embedding of Cortical Representations by the Superficial Patch System. Cerebral Cortex, 21(10), 2244-2260. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhq290.

Pyramidal cells in layers 2 and 3 of the neocortex of many species collectively form a clustered system of lateral axonal projections (the superficial patch system—Lund JS, Angelucci A, Bressloff PC. 2003. Anatomical substrates for functional columns in macaque monkey primary visual cortex. Cereb Cortex. 13:15–24. or daisy architecture—Douglas RJ, Martin KAC. 2004. Neuronal circuits of the neocortex. Annu Rev Neurosci. 27:419–451.), but the function performed by this general feature of the cortical architecture remains obscure. By comparing the spatial configuration of labeled patches with the configuration of responses to drifting grating stimuli, we found the spatial organizations both of the patch system and of the cortical response to be highly conserved between cat and monkey primary visual cortex. More importantly, the configuration of the superficial patch system is directly reflected in the arrangement of function across monkey primary visual cortex. Our results indicate a close relationship between the structure of the superficial patch system and cortical responses encoding a single value across the surface of visual cortex (self-consistent states). This relationship is consistent with the spontaneous emergence of orientation response–like activity patterns during ongoing cortical activity (Kenet T, Bibitchkov D, Tsodyks M, Grinvald A, Arieli A. 2003. Spontaneously emerging cortical representations of visual attributes. Nature. 425:954–956.). We conclude that the superficial patch system is the physical encoding of self-consistent cortical states, and that a set of concurrently labeled patches participate in a network of mutually consistent representations of cortical input.