Active cortical dendrites modulate perception

Naoya Takahashi, Thomas G. Oertner, Peter Hegemann, Matthew E. Larkum
Science. 2016-12-22; 354(6319): 1587-1590
DOI: 10.1126/science.aah6066

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There is as yet no consensus concerning the neural basis of perception and how it operates at a mechanistic level. We found that Ca2+ activity in the apical dendrites of a subset of layer 5 (L5) pyramidal neurons in primary somatosensory cortex (S1) in mice is correlated with the threshold for perceptual detection of whisker deflections. Manipulating the activity of apical dendrites shifted the perceptual threshold, demonstrating that an active dendritic mechanism is
causally linked to perceptual detection.


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