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Front. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnins.2018.00837

Thalamocortical communication in the awake mouse visual system involves phase synchronization and rhythmic spike synchrony at high gamma frequencies

  • 1St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, United States
  • 2University of Tennessee Health Science Center, United States
  • 3Georgia State University, United States

In the neocortex, communication between neurons is heavily influenced by the activity of the surrounding network, with communication efficacy increasing when population patterns are oscillatory and coherent. Less is known about whether coherent oscillations are essential for conveyance of thalamic input to the neocortex in awake animals. Here we investigated whether visual-evoked oscillations and spikes in the primary visual cortex (V1) were aligned with those in the visual thalamus (dLGN). Using simultaneous recordings of visual-evoked activity in V1 and dLGN we demonstrate that thalamocortical communication involves synchronized local field potential oscillations in the high gamma range (50-90 Hz) which correspond uniquely to precise dLGN-V1 spike synchrony. These results provide evidence of a role for high gamma oscillations in mediating thalamocortical communication in the visual pathway of mice, analogous to beta oscillations in primates.

Keywords: Visual System, coherence, Lateral Geniculate Nucleus, primary visual cortex (V1), gamma oscillations, Mouse

Received: 20 Aug 2018; Accepted: 26 Oct 2018.

Edited by:

Rufin VanRullen, Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), France

Reviewed by:

Laura Busse, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany
Zoltan Nadasdy, Independent researcher  

Copyright: © 2018 McAfee, Liu, Dhamala and Heck. 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: Dr. Samuel S. McAfee, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, United States, stuart.mcafee@stjude.org