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Increased reliability of visually-evoked activity in area V1 of the MECP2-duplication mouse model of autism

By Ryan Thomas Ash, Ganna Palagina, Jiyoung Park, Jose A. Fernandez-Leon, Rob Seilheimer, Sangkyun Lee, Emmanouil Froudarakis, Zheng Huan Tan, Jasdeep Sabharwal, Jing Wang, Dylan Lu, Sam Wu, Stelios M. Smirnakis

Posted 01 Mar 2022
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2022.02.27.482189

Atypical sensory processing is now thought to be a core feature of the autism spectrum. Influential theories have proposed that both increased and decreased neural response reliability within sensory systems could underlie altered sensory processing in autism. Here, we report evidence for abnormally increased reliability of visual-evoked responses in layer 2/3 neurons of adult primary visual cortex in the MECP2-duplication syndrome animal model of autism. Increased response reliability was due in part to decreased response amplitude, decreased fluctuations in endogenous activity, and decreased neuronal coupling to endogenous activity. Similarly to what was observed neuronally, the optokinetic reflex occurred more reliably at low contrasts in mutant mice compared to controls. Retinal responses did not explain our observations. These data suggest that the circuit mechanisms for convolution of sensory-evoked and endogenous signal and noise may be altered in this form of syndromic autism.

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