Recruitment of local inhibitory networks by horizontal connections in layer 2/3 of ferret visual cortex

J Neurophysiol. 2003 Jan;89(1):501-12. doi: 10.1152/jn.00868.2001.


To investigate how neurons in cortical layer 2/3 integrate horizontal inputs arising from widely distributed sites, we combined intracellular recording and voltage-sensitive dye imaging to visualize the spatiotemporal dynamics of neuronal activity evoked by electrical stimulation of multiple sites in visual cortex. Individual stimuli evoked characteristic patterns of optical activity, while delivering stimuli at multiple sites generated interacting patterns in the regions of overlap. We observed that neurons in overlapping regions received convergent horizontal activation that generated nonlinear responses due to the emergence of large inhibitory potentials. The results indicate that co-activation of multiple sets of horizontal connections recruit strong inhibition from local inhibitory networks, causing marked deviations from simple linear integration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Coloring Agents
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials / physiology
  • Ferrets
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology*
  • Organ Culture Techniques
  • Time Factors
  • Visual Cortex / cytology
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*
  • Visual Pathways / cytology
  • Visual Pathways / physiology


  • Coloring Agents