Adaptation-induced synchronization in laminar cortical circuits

Bryan J. Hansen and Valentin Dragoi


A fundamental feature of information processing in neocortex is the ability of individual neurons to adapt to changes in incoming stimuli. It is increasingly being understood that cortical adaptation is a phenomenon that requires network interactions. The fact that the structure of local networks depends critically on cortical layer raises the possibility that adaptation could induce specific effects in different layers. Here we show that brief exposure (300 ms) to a stimulus of fixed orientation modulates the strength of synchronization between individual neurons and local population activity in the gamma-band frequency (30–80 Hz) in macaque primary visual cortex (V1) and influences the ability of individual neurons to encode stimulus orientation. Using laminar probes, we found that although stimulus presentation elicits a large increase in the gamma synchronization of rhythmic neuronal activity in the input (granular) layers of V1, adaptation caused a pronounced increase in synchronization in the cortical output (supragranular) layers. The increase in gamma synchronization after adaptation was significantly correlated with an improvement in neuronal orientation discrimination performance only in the supragranular layers. Thus, synchronization between the spiking activity of individual neurons and their local population may enhance sensory coding to optimize network processing across laminar circuits.