Response dynamics of rat barrel cortex neurons to repeated sensory stimulation

Ehsan Kheradpezhouh, Mehdi Adibi, Ehsan Arabzadeh

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Neuronal adaptation is a common feature observed at various stages of sensory processing. Here, we quantified the time course of adaptation in rat somatosensory cortex. Under urethane anesthesia, we juxta-cellularly recorded single neurons (n = 147) while applying a series of whisker deflections at various frequencies (2-32 Hz). For ~90% of neurons, the response per unit of time decreased with frequency. The degree of adaptation increased along the train of deflections and was strongest at the highest frequency. However, a subset of neurons showed facilitation producing higher responses to subsequent deflections. The response latency to consecutive deflections increased both for neurons that exhibited adaptation and for those that exhibited response facilitation. Histological reconstruction of neurons (n = 45) did not reveal a systematic relationship between adaptation profiles and cell types. In addition to the periodic stimuli, we applied a temporally irregular train of deflections with a mean frequency of 8 Hz. For 70% of neurons, the response to the irregular stimulus was greater than that of the 8 Hz regular. This increased response to irregular stimulation was positively correlated with the degree of adaptation. Altogether, our findings demonstrate high levels of diversity among cortical neurons, with a proportion of neurons showing facilitation at specific temporal intervals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11445
Number of pages10
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sept 2017
Externally publishedYes

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