Modifications of synaptic inputs and cell-intrinsic properties both contribute to neuronal plasticity and development. To better understand these mechanisms, we undertook an intracellular analysis of the development of direction selectivity in the ferret visual cortex, which occurs rapidly over a few days after eye opening. We found strong evidence of developmental changes in linear spatiotemporal receptive fields of simple cells, implying alterations in circuit inputs. Further, this receptive field plasticity was accompanied by increases in near-spike-threshold excitability and input-output gain that resulted in dramatically increased spiking responses in the experienced state. Increases in subthreshold membrane responses induced by the receptive field plasticity and the increased input-output spiking gain were both necessary to explain the elevated firing rates in experienced ferrets. These results demonstrate that cortical direction selectivity develops through a combination of plasticity in inputs and in cell-intrinsic properties.
Data is available at our website at http://data.vhlab.org. Code is available at http://code.vhlab.org (links to GitHub).
- Arani Roy
- Jason J Osik
- Benyamin Meschede-Krasa
- Wesley T Alford
- Daniel P Leman
- Stephen D Van Hooser
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: This study was performed in strict accordance with the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health. All of the animals were handled according to approved institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) protocols of Brandeis University (19010, 16003, 13011). All procedures were performed under isoflurane anesthesia and every effort was made to minimize suffering.
- Marla B Feller, University of California, Berkeley, United States
© 2020, Roy et al.
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