12 October 2018

Jonathan Whitlock

Neuroscience Symposium

The Neuroscience Symposia are organized weekly by the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience. The presentations are given by researchers from the institute or by guest speakers. The title and content of the symposium is usually made known in the week prior to the presentation.

Guest speaker Valeria Gazzola

Colloquium room – Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience

4:00 pm – Cortical representation of 3D behavior in freely moving rodents

The ability to rapidly orient in three dimensions (3D) is essential to survival, yet how the brain achieves this is not well understood. We therefore recorded neural activity in the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) and pre-motor cortex (M2), areas critical for movement planning and spatial coordination, while tracking freely behaving rats in 3D. Cells in both areas exhibited strikingly specific tuning to the pitch, azimuth and roll of the head, the pitch and flexion of the spine, and neck elevation, but were driven much less by movement. Tuning to the head and back were organized topographically over the cortical surface, and postures that occurred most often were represented by fewer cells. Simultaneous recordings in both areas were sufficient to reconstruct ongoing posture, and showed that spiking in PPC tended to precede M2. These data demonstrate that PPC and M2 provide a robust, spatially organized and efficient population code for 3D posture.

4:45 pm – Discussion and drinks