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Imaging Cajal’s neuronal avalanche: how wide-field optical imaging of the point-spread advanced the understanding of neocortical structure–function relationship
Author(s): Ron D. Frostig; Cynthia H. Chen-Bee; Brett A. Johnson; Nathan S. Jacobs
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Paper Abstract

This review brings together a collection of studies that specifically use wide-field high-resolution mesoscopic level imaging techniques (intrinsic signal optical imaging; voltage-sensitive dye optical imaging) to image the cortical point spread (PS): the total spread of cortical activation comprising a large neuronal ensemble evoked by spatially restricted (point) stimulation of the sensory periphery (e.g., whisker, pure tone, point visual stimulation). The collective imaging findings, combined with supporting anatomical and electrophysiological findings, revealed some key aspects about the PS including its very large (radius of several mm) and relatively symmetrical spatial extent capable of crossing cytoarchitectural borders and trespassing into other cortical areas; its relationship with underlying evoked subthreshold activity and underlying anatomical system of long-range horizontal projections within gray matter, both also crossing borders; its contextual modulation and plasticity; the ability of its relative spatiotemporal profile to remain invariant to major changes in stimulation parameters; its potential role as a building block for integrative cortical activity; and its ubiquitous presence across various cortical areas and across mammalian species. Together, these findings advance our understanding about the neocortex at the mesoscopic level by underscoring that the cortical PS constitutes a fundamental motif of neocortical structure–function relationship.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 June 2017
PDF: 19 pages
4(3) 031217 doi: 10.1117/1.NPh.4.3.031217
Published in: Neurophotonics Volume 4, Issue 3
Show Author Affiliations
Ron D. Frostig, Univ. of California, Irvine (United States)
Cynthia H. Chen-Bee, Univ. of California, Irvine (United States)
Brett A. Johnson, Univ. of California, Irvine (United States)
Nathan S. Jacobs, Univ. of California, Irvine (United States)

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