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Johannes Letzkus: A thalamo-cortical top-down circuit for associative memory

Institute for Physiology, Dept. I, University of Freiburg [BERNSTEIN SEMINAR]
When Feb 09, 2021
from 05:15 PM to 06:00 PM
Where Zoom Meeting. Meeting ID and password will be sent with the e-mail invitation. You can also contact the host directly for meeting ID and password.
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Sensory neocortex is a critical substrate for memory. Despite its strong connection with the thalamus, the role of direct thalamo-cortical communication in memory remains elusive. We performed chronic in vivo 2-photon calcium imaging of thalamic synapses in auditory cortex layer 1, a major locus of cortical associations. Combined with optogenetics, viral tracing, whole-cell recording and computational modeling, we find that the higher-order thalamus is required for associative learning, and transmits memory-related information that closely correlates with acquired behavioral relevance. In turn, these signals are tightly and dynamically controlled by local presynaptic inhibition. Our results not only identify higher-order thalamus as a highly plastic source of cortical top-down information, but also reveal a level of computational flexibility in layer 1 that goes significantly beyond hard-wired connectivity.


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Johannes Letzkus



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