Vision and locomotion shape the interactions between neuron types in mouse visual cortex
In the mouse primary visual cortex (V1), sensory responses are shaped by behavioral factors such as locomotion. These factors are thought to control a disinhibitory circuit, whereby interneurons expressing vasoactive intestinal peptide (Vip) inhibit those expressing somatostatin (Sst), disinhibiting pyramidal cells (Pyr). We measured the effect of locomotion on these neurons and on interneurons expressing parvalbumin (Pvalb) in layer 2/3 of mouse V1, and found inconsistencies with the disinhibitory model. In the presence of large stimuli, locomotion increased Sst cell responses without suppressing Vip cells. In the presence of small stimuli, locomotion increased Vip cell responses without suppressing Sst cells. A circuit model could reproduce each cell type's activity from the measured activity of other cell types, but only if we allowed locomotion to increase feedforward synaptic weights while modulating recurrent weights. These results suggest that locomotion alters cortical function by changing effective synaptic connectivity, rather than only through disinhibition.
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