Reversible optogenetic neural inactivation techniques are valuable for linking neural activity and behavior but they have serious limitations in macaques. To achieve powerful and temporally precise neural inactivation, we used an adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector carrying the channelrhodopsin-2 gene under the control of a Dlx5/6 enhancer, which restricts expression to GABAergic neurons. We tested this approach in the primary visual cortex, an area where neural inactivation leads to interpretable behavioral deficits. Optical stimulation modulated spiking activity and reduced visual sensitivity profoundly in the region of space represented by the stimulated neurons. Rebound firing, which can have unwanted effects on neural circuits following inactivation, was not observed, and the efficacy of the optogenetic manipulation on behavior was maintained across >1000 trials. We conclude that this inhibitory cell-type specific optogenetic approach is a powerful and spatiotemporally precise neural inactivation tool with broad utility for probing the functional contributions of different cortical areas in macaques.
All data have been uploaded to https://github.com/horwitzlab.
Data from: Fast and reversible neural inactivation in macaque cortex by optogenetic stimulation of GABAergic neuronshttps://github.com/horwitzlab.
- Gregory D Horwitz
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: Surgical procedures, experimental protocols and animal care conformed to the NIH Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and were approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee at the University of Washington (IACUC protocol #4167-01).
- Michael Schmid, Newcastle University, United Kingdom
© 2020, De 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.
Theta and gamma oscillations in the medial temporal lobe are suggested to play a critical role for human memory formation via establishing synchrony in neural assemblies. Arguably, such synchrony facilitates efficient information transfer between neurons and enhances synaptic plasticity, both of which benefit episodic memory formation. However, to date little evidence exists from humans that would provide direct evidence for such a specific role of theta and gamma oscillations for episodic memory formation. Here, we investigate how oscillations shape the temporal structure of neural firing during memory formation in the medial temporal lobe. We measured neural firing and local field potentials in human epilepsy patients via micro-wire electrode recordings to analyze whether brain oscillations are related to co-incidences of firing between neurons during successful and unsuccessful encoding of episodic memories. The results show that phase-coupling of neurons to faster theta and gamma oscillations correlates with co-firing at short latencies (~20–30 ms) and occurs during successful memory formation. Phase-coupling at slower oscillations in these same frequency bands, in contrast, correlates with longer co-firing latencies and occurs during memory failure. Thus, our findings suggest that neural oscillations play a role for the synchronization of neural firing in the medial temporal lobe during the encoding of episodic memories.
Hippocampal-dependent memory is thought to be supported by distinct connectivity states, with strong input to the hippocampus benefitting encoding and weak input benefitting retrieval. Previous research in rodents suggests that the hippocampal theta oscillation orchestrates the transition between these states, with opposite phase angles predicting minimal versus maximal input. We investigated whether this phase dependence exists in humans using network-targeted intracranial stimulation. Intracranial local field potentials were recorded from individuals with epilepsy undergoing medically necessary stereotactic electroencephalographic recording. In each subject, biphasic bipolar direct electrical stimulation was delivered to lateral temporal sites with demonstrated connectivity to hippocampus. Lateral temporal stimulation evoked ipsilateral hippocampal potentials with distinct early and late components. Using evoked component amplitude to measure functional connectivity, we assessed whether the phase of hippocampal theta predicted relatively high versus low connectivity. We observed an increase in the continuous phase–amplitude relationship selective to the early and late components of the response evoked by lateral temporal stimulation. The maximal difference in these evoked component amplitudes occurred across 180 degrees of separation in the hippocampal theta rhythm; that is, the greatest difference in component amplitude was observed when stimulation was delivered at theta peak versus trough. The pattern of theta-phase dependence observed for hippocampus was not identified for control locations. These findings demonstrate that hippocampal receptivity to input varies with theta phase, suggesting that theta phase reflects connectivity states of human hippocampal networks. These findings confirm a putative mechanism by which neural oscillations modulate human hippocampal function.