Motor cortex modulation of sensory processing

NeuroNexus A1x16-Poly2-5mm-50s-177 probes were used for repeated recordings of both excitatory and inhibitory neurons in barrel cortex (S1) of trained mice performing a whisker stimulation detection task. The Poly2 layout of the probe enabled tetrode-like spike detection, with appropriate laminar span to consistently target layer 5 across animals. With this setup, Zhaoran Zhang and Edward Zagha at UC Riverside studied unit activity (92 total sessions, average 175 units per mouse) during opto-tagging in S1 and optogenetic suppression of whisker motor cortex (wMC). Their results in Nature Communications reveal that top-down modulation from motor cortex to sensory cortex contributes to suppression of distractor stimuli in sensory selection.

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