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Front. Neural Circuits | doi: 10.3389/fncir.2018.00105

Response properties of interneurons and pyramidal neurons in macaque MSTd and VPS areas during self-motion

Yingying Zhang1, Shasha Li1, Danqing Jiang1 and  Aihua Chen1*
  • 1East China Normal University, China

To conduct self-motion perception, the brain needs to integrate multi-modal sensory signals such as visual, vestibular, and proprioceptive cues. Self-motion perception is very complex and involves multi candidate areas. Previous studies related to self-motion perception during passive motion have revealed that some of the areas show selective response to different directions for both visual (optic flow) and vestibular stimuli, such as the dorsal subdivision of the medial superior temporal area (MSTd) and the visual posterior sylvian fissure (VPS), although MSTd is dominated by visual signals and VPS is dominated by vestibular signals. However, none of studies related to self-motion perception have distinguished the different neuron types with distinct neuronal properties in cortical microcircuitry, which limited our understanding of the local circuits for self-motion perception. In the current study, we classified the recorded MSTd and VPS neurons into putative pyramidal neurons and putative interneurons based on the extracellular action potential waveforms and spontaneous firing rates. We found that 1) the putative interneurons exhibited obviously broader direction tuning than putative pyramidal neurons in response to their dominant (visual for MSTd; vestibular for VPS) stimulation type; 2) either in visual or vestibular condition, the putative interneurons were more responsive but with larger variability than the putative pyramidal neurons for both MSTd and VPS areas; 3) the timing of vestibular and visual peak directional tuning was earlier in the putative interneurons than that of the putative pyramidal neurons for both MSTd and VPS areas. Based on these findings we speculated that, within the microcircuitry, several adjacent putative interneurons with broad direction tuning receive earlier strong but variable signals, which might act feedforward input to shape the direction tuning of the target putative pyramidal neuron, but each interneuron may participate in several microcircuitries, targeting different output neurons.

Keywords: interneuron, pyramidal neuron, self-motion, visual, vestibular, MSTd, VPS

Received: 16 Sep 2018; Accepted: 05 Nov 2018.

Edited by:

Jing-Ning Zhu, State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, School of Life Science, Nanjing University, China

Reviewed by:

Shiyong Huang, Hussman Institute for Autism, United States
Mingsha Zhang, Beijing Normal University, China  

Copyright: © 2018 Zhang, Li, Jiang and Chen. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: MD. Aihua Chen, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China,