Activity in striatal direct- and indirect-pathway spiny projection neurons (SPNs) is critical for proper movement. However, little is known about the spatiotemporal organization of this activity. We investigated the spatiotemporal organization of SPN ensemble activity in mice during self-paced, natural movements using microendoscopic imaging. Activity in both pathways showed predominantly local but also some long-range correlations. Using a novel approach to cluster and quantify behaviors based on continuous accelerometer and video data, we found that SPN ensembles active during specific actions were spatially closer and more correlated overall. Furthermore, similarity between different actions corresponded to the similarity between SPN ensemble patterns, irrespective of movement speed. Consistently, the accuracy of decoding behavior from SPN ensemble patterns was directly related to the dissimilarity between behavioral clusters. These results identify a predominantly local, but not spatially compact, organization of direct- and indirect-pathway SPN activity that maps action space independently of movement speed.
Keywords: action space; basal ganglia; behavior decoding; calcium imaging; caudate; direct pathway; indirect pathway; neural correlation; population activity; putamen.
Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.