Spatial range and laminar structures of neuronal correlations in the cat primary visual cortex.

Journal of neurophysiology

PubMedID: 25252337

Tanaka H, Tamura H, Ohzawa I. Spatial range and laminar structures of neuronal correlations in the cat primary visual cortex. J Neurophysiol. 2014;112(3):705-718.
Activities of nearby cortical cells show temporal correlation on many timescales. In particular, previous studies of primary visual cortex (V1) indicate precise correlation on a timescale of milliseconds and loose correlation on a timescale of tens of milliseconds. To characterize cortical organization of these correlations, we investigated their spatial extent, laminar organization, and dependence on receptive field (RF) similarities. By simultaneously recording neuronal activity across layers within a horizontal distance of 1.2 mm, we found that loose correlation was widely observed for neuronal pairs horizontally or vertically separated over the whole distance range regardless of the layers. The incidence of loose correlation tended to be lower in layer 4 than in other layers. Loose correlation also accompanied a consistent delay in firing that was monotonically related to the vertical, but not horizontal, distance between the paired neurons. In contrast, the spatial range in which precise correlation was observed was more limited, with its incidence dropping sharply within 0.4 mm in both vertical and horizontal directions for all layers. With these spatial ranges, precise correlation was typically observed for pairs of neurons in the same layers, while loose correlation was often present even for pairs of neurons in widely separated layers. Furthermore, precise correlation was predominantly seen for pairs with similar RF properties, whereas loose correlation was seen even in pairs showing dissimilar properties. Our results show that neuronal correlations in V1 show markedly different structures for horizontal and vertical dimensions depending on correlation timescales.