Apr 25, 2020

Transient and layer-specific reduction in neocortical PV inhibition during sensory association learning

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
D. KuljisAlison L Barth


Sensory and motor learning reorganizes neocortical circuitry, particularly manifested in the strength of excitatory synapses. Prior studies suggest reduced inhibition can facilitate glutamatergic synapse plasticity during learning, but the role of specific inhibitory neurons in this process has not been well-documented. Here we investigate whether inhibition from parvalbumin (PV)-expressing neurons is altered in primary somatosensory cortex in mice trained in a whisker-based reward-association task. Anatomical and electrophysiological analyses show PV input to L2/3, but not L5, pyramidal (Pyr) neurons is rapidly suppressed during early stages of sensory training, effects that are reversed after longer training periods. Importantly, sensory stimulation without reward does not alter PV-mediated inhibition. Computational modeling indicates that reduced PV inhibition in L2/3 selectively enables an increase in translaminar recurrent activity, also observed during SAT. PV disinhibition in superficial layers of the neocortex may be one of the earliest changes in learning-dependent rewiring of the cortical column.

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