Not so spontaneous: Multi-dimensional representations of behaviors and context in sensory areas

Lilach Avitan*, Carsen Stringer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Sensory areas are spontaneously active in the absence of sensory stimuli. This spontaneous activity has long been studied; however, its functional role remains largely unknown. Recent advances in technology, allowing large-scale neural recordings in the awake and behaving animal, have transformed our understanding of spontaneous activity. Studies using these recordings have discovered high-dimensional spontaneous activity patterns, correlation between spontaneous activity and behavior, and dissimilarity between spontaneous and sensory-driven activity patterns. These findings are supported by evidence from developing animals, where a transition toward these characteristics is observed as the circuit matures, as well as by evidence from mature animals across species. These newly revealed characteristics call for the formulation of a new role for spontaneous activity in neural sensory computation.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)3064-3075
Number of pages12
JournalNeuron
Volume110
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - 5 Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s)

Keywords

  • behavior
  • dimensionality
  • evoked neural activity
  • multi-dimensional neural activity
  • neural coding
  • neural subspace
  • orthogonal neural subspaces
  • spontaneous activity

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