Spiking Irregularity and Frequency Modulate the Behavioral Report of Single-Neuron Stimulation

G Doron, M von Heimendahl, P Schlattmann, Arthur Houweling, HM (Michael) Brecht

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56 Citations (Scopus)


The action potential activity of single cortical neurons can evoke measurable sensory effects, but it is not known how spiking parameters and neuronal subtypes affect the evoked sensations. Here, we examined the effects of spike train irregularity, spike frequency, and spike number on the detectability of single-neuron stimulation in rat somatosensory cortex. For regular-spiking, putative excitatory neurons, detectability increased with spike train irregularity and decreasing spike frequencies but was not affected by spike number. Stimulation of single, fast-spiking, putative inhibitory neurons led to a larger sensory effect compared to regular-spiking neurons, and the effect size depended only on spike irregularity. An ideal-observer analysis suggests that, under our experimental conditions, rats were using integration windows of a few hundred milliseconds or more. Our data imply that the behaving animal is sensitive to single neurons' spikes and even to their temporal patterning.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)653-663
Number of pages11
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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