On 22 Jul.2020, Zengcai V.Guo's group published 'Mapping Functional Connectivity from the Dorsal Cortex to the Thalamus' in Neuron.
- A high throughput pipeline to map functional corticothalamic connectivity
- Inactivation of the cortex rapidly reduces thalamic activity
- Functional corticothalamic connectivity shows topographical organization
- Some thalamic neurons receive convergent inputs from widespread cortical regions
Neural activity in the corticothalamic network is crucial for sensation, memory, decision, and action. Nevertheless, a systematic characterization of corticothalamic functional connectivity has not been achieved. Here, we developed a high throughput method to systematically map functional connections from the dorsal cortex to the thalamus in awake mice by combing optogenetic inactivation with multi-channel recording. Cortical inactivation resulted in a rapid reduction of thalamic activity, revealing topographically organized corticothalamic excitatory inputs. Cluster analysis showed that groups of neurons within individual thalamic nuclei exhibited distinct dynamics. The effects of inactivation evolved with time and were modulated by behavioral states. Furthermore, we found that a subset of thalamic neurons received convergent inputs from widespread cortical regions. Our results present a framework for collecting, analyzing, and presenting large electrophysiological datasets with region-specific optogenetic perturbations and serve as a foundation for further investigation of information processing in the corticothalamic pathway.