Cortical circuitry mediating interareal touch signal amplification

Lauren Ryan, Andrew Sun-Yan, Maya Laughton, Simon Peron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sensory cortical areas are organized into topographic maps representing the sensory epithelium. Interareal projections typically connect topographically matched subregions across areas. Because matched subregions process the same stimulus, their interaction is central to many computations. Here, we ask how topographically matched subregions of primary and secondary vibrissal somatosensory cortices (vS1 and vS2) interact during active touch. Volumetric calcium imaging in mice palpating an object with two whiskers revealed a sparse population of highly responsive, broadly tuned touch neurons especially pronounced in layer 2 of both areas. These rare neurons exhibited elevated synchrony and carried most touch-evoked activity in both directions. Lesioning the subregion of either area responding to the spared whiskers degraded touch responses in the unlesioned area, with whisker-specific vS1 lesions degrading whisker-specific vS2 touch responses. Thus, a sparse population of broadly tuned touch neurons dominates vS1-vS2 communication in both directions, and topographically matched vS1 and vS2 subregions recurrently amplify whisker touch activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number113532
JournalCell Reports
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 26 2023


  • CP: Cell biology
  • CP: Neuroscience
  • cortex
  • interareal interactions
  • recurrence
  • somatosensation
  • whiskers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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