Awake mice; behaviour; neocortex somatosensory cortex; barrel cortex; perception; learning
Avermann Michael, Tomm Christian, Mateo Celine, Gerstner Wulfram, Petersen Carl C H (2012), Microcircuits of excitatory and inhibitory neurons in layer 2/3 of mouse barrel cortex., in Journal of neurophysiology
, 107(11), 3116-34.
Poulet James F A, Fernandez Laura M J, Crochet Sylvain, Petersen Carl C H (2012), Thalamic control of cortical states., in Nature neuroscience
, 15(3), 370-2.
Gentet Luc J, Kremer Yves, Taniguchi Hiroki, Huang Z Josh, Staiger Jochen F, Petersen Carl C H (2012), Unique functional properties of somatostatin-expressing GABAergic neurons in mouse barrel cortex., in Nature neuroscience
, 15(4), 607-12.
Mateo C, Avermann M, Gentet LJ, Zhang F, Deisseroth K, Petersen CCH (2011), In Vivo Optogenetic Stimulation of Neocortical Excitatory Neurons Drives Brain-State-Dependent Inhibition, in CURRENT BIOLOGY
, 21(19), 1593-1602.
The overall goal of this research project is to obtain a mechanistic and causal explanation for simple forms of sensory perception and associative learning at the level of individual neurons and their synaptic interactions. The quantitative understanding of the neurophysiological basis of mammalian behaviour poses a major challenge to neuroscientists. Our approach is to focus on the mouse whisker sensorimotor pathway, which provides a relatively simple system for studying active sensory perception. Each whisker on the snout is mapped onto a homologous anatomically-defined barrel column in the primary somatosensory cortex of the mouse. So for example, sensory processing of tactile information from the C2 whisker is primarily processed in the C2 barrel column. Mice actively gather sensory information with their whiskers, which they move back and forth at high speed while exploring their environment. Interactions between sensory and motor systems must therefore be important for interpretation of the tactile information, but little is currently known about the synaptic mechanisms of such sensorimotor integration. Over the past years we have developed electrophysiological, imaging and genetic approaches for investigating cortical function in awake behaving mice, which we now apply to investigate the synaptic mechanisms of sensory perception and associative learning.