Experience shapes activity dynamics and stimulus coding of VIP inhibitory cells

Elife. 2020 Feb 26:9:e50340. doi: 10.7554/eLife.50340.


Cortical circuits can flexibly change with experience and learning, but the effects on specific cell types, including distinct inhibitory types, are not well understood. Here we investigated how excitatory and VIP inhibitory cells in layer 2/3 of mouse visual cortex were impacted by visual experience in the context of a behavioral task. Mice learned a visual change detection task with a set of eight natural scene images. Subsequently, during 2-photon imaging experiments, mice performed the task with these familiar images and three sets of novel images. Strikingly, the temporal dynamics of VIP activity differed markedly between novel and familiar images: VIP cells were stimulus-driven by novel images but were suppressed by familiar stimuli and showed ramping activity when expected stimuli were omitted from a temporally predictable sequence. This prominent change in VIP activity suggests that these cells may adopt different modes of processing under novel versus familiar conditions.

Keywords: behavior; learning; mouse; neuroscience; visual system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Mice
  • Task Performance and Analysis
  • Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide / metabolism*
  • Visual Cortex / metabolism
  • Visual Cortex / physiology


  • Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide

Associated data

  • figshare/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.4858779.v1