Dynamic coordination of the perirhinal cortical neurons supports coherent representations between task epochs

Commun Biol. 2020 Jul 30;3(1):406. doi: 10.1038/s42003-020-01129-3.


Cortical neurons show distinct firing patterns across multiple task epochs characterized by different computations. Recent studies suggest that such distinct patterns underlie dynamic population code achieving computational flexibility, whereas neurons in some cortical areas often show coherent firing patterns across epochs. To understand how coherent single-neuron code contributes to dynamic population code, we analyzed neural responses in the rat perirhinal cortex (PRC) during cue and reward epochs of a two-alternative forced-choice task. We found that the PRC neurons often encoded the opposite choice directions between those epochs. By using principal component analysis as a population-level analysis, we identified neural subspaces associated with each epoch, which reflected coordination across the neurons. The cue and reward epochs shared neural dimensions where the choice directions were consistently discriminated. Interestingly, those dimensions were supported by dynamically changing contributions of the individual neurons. These results demonstrated heterogeneity of coherent single-neuron representations in their contributions to population code.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Choice Behavior / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Perirhinal Cortex / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Reward
  • Task Performance and Analysis

Associated data

  • figshare/10.6084/m9.figshare.12611666.v2