The Basal Forebrain and Motor Cortex Provide Convergent yet Distinct Movement-Related Inputs to the Auditory Cortex.
Cholinergic inputs to the auditory cortex from the basal forebrain (BF) are important to auditory processing and plasticity, but little is known about the organization of these synapses onto different auditory cortical neuron types, how they influence auditory responsiveness, and their activity patterns during various behaviors. Using intersectional tracing, optogenetic circuit mapping, and in vivo calcium imaging, we found that cholinergic axons arising from the caudal BF target major excitatory and inhibitory auditory cortical cell types, rapidly modulate auditory cortical tuning, and display fast movement-related activity. Furthermore, the BF and the motor cortex-another source of movement-related activity-provide convergent input onto some of the same auditory cortical neurons. Cholinergic and motor cortical afferents to the auditory cortex display distinct activity patterns and presynaptic partners, indicating that the auditory cortex integrates bottom-up cholinergic signals related to ongoing movements and arousal with top-down information concerning impending movements and motor planning.
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