Presentation Title

Firing Rates of Primary Visual Cortex Neurons in Mice Model of Multi-Modal Visual Attention Task

Faculty Mentor

Duy Tran, Dr. Peyman Golshani

Start Date

17-11-2018 12:30 PM

End Date

17-11-2018 2:30 PM

Location

HARBESON 19

Session

POSTER 2

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

biological_agricultural_sciences

Abstract

Understanding the neurophysiology of disorders that impair sustaining and shifting attention, including autism and attention-deficit disorder, requires strong animal models. Previous primate studies have shown that the firing rates of primary visual cortical (V1) neurons increase during attention. However, as this animal model poses technical difficulties to probing neural mechanisms of attention in-vivo, the mechanism remains unknown. In order to investigate V1 neuronal dynamics, we developed a multi-modal visual attention task for head-fixed mice. We hypothesized that V1 neurons exhibit higher firing rates during visual attention than when ignoring visual cues.

Head-fixed animals were trained to perform unimodal visual lick/no-lick discrimination tasks and eventually advanced to the multimodal attention task. The animals reached high proficiency for this task in a relatively short time period, with about 300-450 trials daily over 3-4 weeks. We employed high-density silicon microprobes to measure spiking activity of V1 neurons during trials. Using PyClust, we identified 61 broad- and 38 narrow-spiking units that responded to visual cues and whose waveforms significantly conformed to those previously described. Further analysis using MATLAB showed that attended visual cues elicited a greater response from all units compared with ignored visual cues. This effect was largely driven by deep layer units, which fired significantly more when animals attended the visual cues (broad spiking attend = 3.59 ± 0.5 Sp/s, ignore = 2.72 ± 0.4 Sp/s, n = 32, WSRT, p = 0.004; narrow spiking attend = 12.58 ± 1.7 Sp/s, ignore = 9.85 ± 1.4 Sp/s, n = 20, WSRT, p = 0.005). Ultimately, these results align with past primate studies, thereby validating our rodent attention model and establishing a foundation for future studies into the neurophysiology of attention.

KEYWORDS: Attention, Multi-modal attention task, Primary visual cortex, Autism, Attention-deficit disorder

Summary of research results to be presented

Using PyClust, we identified 61 broad- and 38 narrow-spiking units that responded to visual cues and whose waveforms significantly conformed to those previously described. Further analysis on Matlab also revealed that attended visual cues elicited a greater response from all units than ignored visual cues. Specifically, broad-spiking units fired at 3.08 ± 0.4 Sp/s and 2.58 ± 0.3 Sp/s when animals attended and ignored the visual cue, respectively (n = 61, WSRT, p = 0.0134). Narrow-spiking units fired at 7.99 ± 1.3 Sp/s and 6.79 ± 1.1 Sp/s when animals attend and ignored the visual cue, respectively (n = 38, WSRT, p = 0.03). This effect was largely driven by deep layer units, which fired significantly more when animals attended the visual cues (broad spiking attend = 3.59 ± 0.5 Sp/s, ignore = 2.72 ± 0.4 Sp/s, n = 32, WSRT, p = 0.004; narrow spiking attend = 12.58 ± 1.7 Sp/s, ignore = 9.85 ± 1.4 Sp/s, n = 20, WSRT, p = 0.005).

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Nov 17th, 12:30 PM Nov 17th, 2:30 PM

Firing Rates of Primary Visual Cortex Neurons in Mice Model of Multi-Modal Visual Attention Task

HARBESON 19

Understanding the neurophysiology of disorders that impair sustaining and shifting attention, including autism and attention-deficit disorder, requires strong animal models. Previous primate studies have shown that the firing rates of primary visual cortical (V1) neurons increase during attention. However, as this animal model poses technical difficulties to probing neural mechanisms of attention in-vivo, the mechanism remains unknown. In order to investigate V1 neuronal dynamics, we developed a multi-modal visual attention task for head-fixed mice. We hypothesized that V1 neurons exhibit higher firing rates during visual attention than when ignoring visual cues.

Head-fixed animals were trained to perform unimodal visual lick/no-lick discrimination tasks and eventually advanced to the multimodal attention task. The animals reached high proficiency for this task in a relatively short time period, with about 300-450 trials daily over 3-4 weeks. We employed high-density silicon microprobes to measure spiking activity of V1 neurons during trials. Using PyClust, we identified 61 broad- and 38 narrow-spiking units that responded to visual cues and whose waveforms significantly conformed to those previously described. Further analysis using MATLAB showed that attended visual cues elicited a greater response from all units compared with ignored visual cues. This effect was largely driven by deep layer units, which fired significantly more when animals attended the visual cues (broad spiking attend = 3.59 ± 0.5 Sp/s, ignore = 2.72 ± 0.4 Sp/s, n = 32, WSRT, p = 0.004; narrow spiking attend = 12.58 ± 1.7 Sp/s, ignore = 9.85 ± 1.4 Sp/s, n = 20, WSRT, p = 0.005). Ultimately, these results align with past primate studies, thereby validating our rodent attention model and establishing a foundation for future studies into the neurophysiology of attention.

KEYWORDS: Attention, Multi-modal attention task, Primary visual cortex, Autism, Attention-deficit disorder