Sensorimotor encoding by synchronous neural ensemble activity at multiple levels of the somatosensory system.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Neural ensemble processing of sensorimotor information during behavior was investigated by simultaneously recording up to 48 single neurons at multiple relays of the rat trigeminal somatosensory system. Cortical, thalamic, and brainstem neurons exhibited widespread 7- to 12-hertz synchronous oscillations, which began during attentive immobility and reliably predicted the imminent onset of rhythmic whisker twitching. Each oscillatory cycle began as a traveling wave of neural activity in the cortex that then spread to the thalamus. Just before the onset of rhythmic whisker twitching, the oscillations spread to the spinal trigeminal brainstem complex. Thereafter, the oscillations at all levels were synchronous with whisker protraction. Neural structures manifesting these rhythms also exhibited distributed spatiotemporal patterns of neuronal ensemble activity in response to tactile stimulation. Thus, multilevel synchronous activity in this system may encode not only sensory information but also the onset and temporal domain of tactile exploratory movements.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Nicolelis, MA; Baccala, LA; Lin, RC; Chapin, JK

Published Date

  • June 2, 1995

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 268 / 5215

Start / End Page

  • 1353 - 1358

PubMed ID

  • 7761855

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0036-8075

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1126/science.7761855


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States