The Temporal Pattern of Spiking Activity of a Thalamic Neuron are Related to the Amplitude of the Cortical Local Field Potential

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<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Neuron activity in the sensory cortices mainly depends on feedforward thalamic inputs. High-frequency activity of a thalamic input can be temporally integrated by a neuron in the sensory cortex and is likely to induce larger depolarization. However, feedforward inhibition (FFI) and depression of excitatory synaptic transmission in thalamocortical pathways attenuate depolarization induced by the latter part of high-frequency spiking activity and the temporal summation may not be effective. The spiking activity of a thalamic neuron in a specific temporal pattern may circumvent FFI and depression of excitatory synapses. The present study determined the relationship between the temporal pattern of spiking activity of a single thalamic neuron and the degree of cortical activation as well as that between the firing rate of spiking activity of a single thalamic neuron and the degree of cortical activation. Spiking activity of a thalamic neuron was recorded extracellularly from the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) in male Long-Evans rats. Degree of cortical activation was assessed by simultaneous recording of local field potential (LFP) from the visual cortex. A specific temporal pattern appearing in three consecutive spikes of an LGN neuron induced larger cortical LFP modulation than high-frequency spiking activity during a short period. These findings indicate that spiking activity of thalamic inputs is integrated by a synaptic mechanism sensitive to an input temporal pattern.</jats:p><jats:sec><jats:title>Significance Statement</jats:title><jats:p>Sensory cortical activity depends on thalamic inputs. Despite the importance of thalamocortical transmission, how spiking activity of thalamic inputs is integrated by cortical neurons remains unclear. Feedforward inhibition and synaptic depression of excitatory transmission may not allow simple temporal summation of membrane potential induced by consecutive spiking activity of a thalamic neuron. A specific temporal pattern appearing in three consecutive spikes of a thalamic neuron induced larger cortical local field potential modulation than high-frequency spiking activity during a short period. The findings indicate the importance of the temporal pattern of spiking activity of a single thalamic neuron on cortical activation.</jats:p></jats:sec>

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