The Francis Crick Institute
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Functional specificity of recurrent inhibition in visual cortex.

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-03-21, 10:44 authored by Petr Znamenskiy, Mean-Hwan Kim, Dylan R Muir, M Florencia Iacaruso, Sonja B Hofer, Thomas D Mrsic-Flogel
In the neocortex, neural activity is shaped by the interaction of excitatory and inhibitory neurons, defined by the organization of their synaptic connections. Although connections among excitatory pyramidal neurons are sparse and functionally tuned, inhibitory connectivity is thought to be dense and largely unstructured. By measuring in vivo visual responses and synaptic connectivity of parvalbumin-expressing (PV+) inhibitory cells in mouse primary visual cortex, we show that the synaptic weights of their connections to nearby pyramidal neurons are specifically tuned according to the similarity of the cells' responses. Individual PV+ cells strongly inhibit those pyramidal cells that provide them with strong excitation and share their visual selectivity. This structured organization of inhibitory synaptic weights provides a circuit mechanism for tuned inhibition onto pyramidal cells despite dense connectivity, stabilizing activity within feature-specific excitatory ensembles while supporting competition between them.


Crick (Grant ID: CC2108, Grant title: Znamenskiy CC2108)