DOI: 10.1101/505214Dec 23, 2018Paper

Optimizing optogenetic stimulation protocols in auditory corticofugal neurons based on closed-loop spike feedback

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Charles-Henri VilaDaniel Polley


Optogenetics provides a means to probe functional connections between brain areas. By activating a set of presynaptic neurons and recording the activity from a downstream brain area, one can establish the sign and strength of a feedforward connection. One challenge is that there are virtually limitless patterns that can be used to stimulate a presynaptic brain area. Functional influences on downstream brain areas can depend not just on whether presynaptic neurons were activated, but how they were activated. Corticofugal axons from the auditory cortex (ACtx) heavily innervate the auditory tectum, the inferior colliculus (IC). Despite the anatomical weight of this connection, optogenetic activation of ACtx neurons produced only modest changes in the IC neuron firing rates. To determine whether different modes of cortical activation could more faithfully reveal the strength of feedforward connectivity, we employed a closed-loop evolutionary optimization procedure that tailored voltage command signals to the laser based on firing rate variations recorded from single units in the IC of awake male and female mice. Within minutes, the evolutionary search procedure converged on ACtx stimulation configurations that produced more effecti...Continue Reading

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