Empowering the Future of Neuroscience

Empowering the Future of Neurosceince

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Cortical reactivations predict representational drift

Speaker: Prof. Dr. Mark Andermann
Date & Time: 2023.November.27 | 12:00
Location: RWTH Aachen University (TBD)
Zoom Meeting ID: 620 8134 9804 and Passcode: 798592


Many theories of offline memory consolidation posit that the pattern of neurons activated during a salient sensory experience will be faithfully reactivated, thereby stabilizing the pattern. However, sensory-evoked patterns are not stable, but instead drift across repeated experiences. To investigate the relationship between reactivations and the drift of sensory representations, we imaged calcium activity of thousands of excitatory neurons in mouse lateral visual cortex. During the minute following a visual stimulus, we observed transient, stimulus-specific reactivations, often coupled with hippocampal sharp-wave ripples. Stimulus-specific reactivations were abolished by local cortical silencing during the preceding stimulus. Surprisingly, reactivations early in a session systemically differed from the pattern evoked by the previous stimulus: they were more similar to future stimulus response patterns, thereby predicting both within-day and across-day representational drift. In particular, neurons that participated proportionally more or less in early stimulus reactivations than in stimulus response patterns gradually increased or decreased their future stimulus responses, respectively. Indeed, we could accurately predict future changes in stimulus responses and in the separation of responses to distinct stimuli using only the rate and content of reactivations. Thus, reactivations may contribute to a gradual drift and separation in sensory cortical response patterns, thereby enhancing sensory discrimination.