In the auditory cortex, do neighbouring neurons receive similar input frow lower levels of processing? In the auditory cortex, neighbouring neurons tend to like sounds that are similar in frequency. We ask whether this is because neighbouring neurons receive similar input from lower levels of the brain (specifically the thalamus). If we zoom out and take a global view, we see that there is a general tendency for neighbouring neurons to receive similar inputs (i.e. thalamic inputs to neighbouring neurons tend to like similar frequencies). However, if we use high-resolution imaging techniques to zoom in on a particular bit of cortex, we find that the inputs to the cortex are relatively diverse (i.e. we see thalamic inputs from neurons that like very different frequencies). In other words, the thalamic inputs to a particular bit of auditory cortex look quite similar from far away, but look more different from close-up.
Vasquez-Lopez SA, Weissenberger Y, Lohse M, Keating P, King AJ, Dahmen JC (2017) Thalamic input to auditory cortex is locally heterogenous but globally tonotopic. Elife e25141 doi: 10.7554/eLife.25141
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