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Equations governing dynamics of excitation and inhibition in the mouse corticothalamic network

By I-Chun Lin, Michael Okun, Matteo Carandini, Kenneth D. Harris

Posted 04 Jun 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.06.03.132688

Although cortical circuits are complex and interconnected with the rest of the brain, their macroscopic dynamics are often approximated by modeling the averaged activities of excitatory and inhibitory cortical neurons, without interactions with other brain circuits. To verify the validity of such mean-field models, we optogenetically stimulated populations of excitatory and parvalbumin-expressing inhibitory neurons in awake mouse visual cortex, while recording population activity in cortex and in its thalamic correspondent, the lateral geniculate nucleus. The cortical responses to brief test pulses could not be explained by a mean-field model including only cortical excitatory and inhibitory populations. However, these responses could be predicted by extending the model to include thalamic interactions that cause net cortical suppression following activation of cortical excitatory neurons. We conclude that mean-field models can accurately summarize cortical dynamics, but only when the cortex is considered as part of a dynamic corticothalamic network. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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