Predictive models can enhance the salience of unanticipated input. Here, we tested a key potential node in neocortical model formation in this process, layer (L) 6, using behavioral, electrophysiological and imaging methods in mouse primary somatosensory neocortex. We found that deviant stimuli enhanced tactile detection and were encoded in L2/3 neural tuning. To test the contribution of L6, we applied weak optogenetic drive that changed which L6 neurons were sensory responsive, without affecting overall firing rates in L6 or L2/3. This stimulation selectively suppressed behavioral sensitivity to deviant stimuli, without impacting baseline performance. This stimulation also eliminated deviance encoding in L2/3 but did not impair basic stimulus responses across layers. In contrast, stronger L6 drive inhibited firing and suppressed overall sensory function. These findings indicate that, despite their sparse activity, specific ensembles of stimulus driven L6 neurons are required to form neocortical predictions, and to realize their behavioral benefit.
Underlying data for all main result figures is included in the supporting files.
- Christopher I Moore
- Christopher A Deister
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All procedures and animal care protocols conformed to guidelines established by the National Institutes of Health, and approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) protocol (#1710000308) at Brown University (PHS Animal Welfare Assurance number D16-00183)
- John R Huguenard, Stanford University School of Medicine, United States
© 2020, Voigts et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
The functional complementarity of the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) and optokinetic reflex (OKR) allows for optimal combined gaze stabilization responses (CGR) in light. While sensory substitution has been reported following complete vestibular loss, the capacity of the central vestibular system to compensate for partial peripheral vestibular loss remains to be determined. Here, we first demonstrate the efficacy of a 6-week subchronic ototoxic protocol in inducing transient and partial vestibular loss which equally affects the canal- and otolith-dependent VORs. Immunostaining of hair cells in the vestibular sensory epithelia revealed that organ-specific alteration of type I, but not type II, hair cells correlates with functional impairments. The decrease in VOR performance is paralleled with an increase in the gain of the OKR occurring in a specific range of frequencies where VOR normally dominates gaze stabilization, compatible with a sensory substitution process. Comparison of unimodal OKR or VOR versus bimodal CGR revealed that visuo-vestibular interactions remain reduced despite a significant recovery in the VOR. Modeling and sweep-based analysis revealed that the differential capacity to optimally combine OKR and VOR correlates with the reproducibility of the VOR responses. Overall, these results shed light on the multisensory reweighting occurring in pathologies with fluctuating peripheral vestibular malfunction.
Genuinely new discovery transcends existing knowledge. Despite this, many analyses in systems neuroscience neglect to test new speculative hypotheses against benchmark empirical facts. Some of these analyses inadvertently use circular reasoning to present existing knowledge as new discovery. Here, I discuss that this problem can confound key results and estimate that it has affected more than three thousand studies in network neuroscience over the last decade. I suggest that future studies can reduce this problem by limiting the use of speculative evidence, integrating existing knowledge into benchmark models, and rigorously testing proposed discoveries against these models. I conclude with a summary of practical challenges and recommendations.