Simultaneous extracellular recordings from one electrode of ‘local’ groups of 3-6 neurons were obtained from the auditory cortex of unanesthetized, paralyzed cats. The activity and functional connectivity of local microenvironments were examined under various auditory stimuli. Single cell response patterns were examined using peri-stimulus (PST) histograms and functional connectivity among neighboring cells by the cross renewal density (CRD) histograms. Analysis of the PST histograms suggested that a high percentage of single cells demonstrated different response patterns to different stimuli. Analysis of the CRD histograms suggested, on the one hand, that only small numbers of neighboring cells behaved as if there were direct connections from one cell to another, and that these direct connections appeared to be excitatory. On the other hand, many cell pairs shared input from shared sources which lay outside the local groups. The majority of functional connections were altered by at least one of the stimuli delivered, thus demonstrating the system’s plasticity. It is suggested that long-term gates at the synaptic level are responsible for this phenomenon.
The effects of stimuli on the activity and functional connectivity of local neuronal groups in the cat auditory cortex
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