Doctoral thesis

Sensory learning-associated response dynamics in the mouse primary somatosensory cortex

ContributorsBawa, Tanika
Number of pages208
Imprimatur date2024
Defense date2024-01-30

The objective of my doctoral work was to study the stimulus selectivity of three neuron types in the primary somatosensory cortex during whisker-based sensory discrimination learning in mice. We specifically focused on pyramidal neurons, VIP interneurons, and axons from higher-order thalamic nucleus (POm). Our study revealed that the aforementioned cell types are active during sensory discrimination, showing an overall increase in selectivity for the rewarded stimulus as mice learn. While some neurons consistently represent a texture or forthcoming behavioural choice, the majority exhibit dynamic selectivity when stimulus contingencies are altered. A subset of pyramidal neurons are value-sensitive, and interestingly predict learning onset through an error history signal, while VIP interneurons carry this signal on a population level. Our data suggest that neurons in lower-order cortices can carry higher-order information, and that they can adapt their response selectivity for sensory stimuli depending on the associated reward contingencies.

  • Learning
  • Somatosensory
  • VIP
  • POm
  • Thalamocortical
  • Circuit
  • Behaviour
Citation (ISO format)
BAWA, Tanika. Sensory learning-associated response dynamics in the mouse primary somatosensory cortex. 2024. doi: 10.13097/archive-ouverte/unige:175513
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Creation03/07/2024 1:08:15 PM
First validation03/11/2024 9:33:06 AM
Update time03/11/2024 9:33:06 AM
Status update03/11/2024 9:33:06 AM
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