A visual thalamocortical slice

Nature Methods
Jason N MacLeanRafael Yuste


We describe a thalamocortical slice preparation in which connectivity between the mouse lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) and primary visual cortex (V1) is preserved. Through DiI injections in fixed brains we traced and created a three-dimensional model of the mouse visual pathways. From this computer model we designed a slice preparation that contains a projection from LGN to V1. We prepared brain slices with these predicted coordinates and demonstrated anatomical LGN-V1 connectivity in these slices after LGN tracer injections. We also revealed functional LGN-V1 connectivity by stimulating LGN electrically and detecting responses in layer 4 of V1 using calcium imaging, field potential recordings and whole-cell recordings. We also identified layer-4 neurons that receive direct thalamocortical input. Finally, we compared cortical activity after LGN stimulation with spontaneous cortical activity and found significant overlap of the spatiotemporal dynamics generated by both types of events.


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