Bernstein Center Freiburg

Bernstein Seminar

February 9, 2021
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Bernstein Seminar

Institute for Physiology | Dept. I | University of Freiburg

A thalamo-cortical top-down circuit for associative memory

Tuesday, February 9, 2021


The talk is open to the public.
Guests are cordially invited!

Hosted by Ad Aertsen

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Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID and password will be sent with e-mail invitation
or contact Fiona Siegfried

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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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