Circuits underlying sparse population coding in the auditory cortex
The general goal of the project is the identification of the cellular and the synaptic circuitry underlying the diversity of neuronal responses in auditory cortex, and in particular the circuitry of neuronal super-responsiveness in the auditory cortex. This will be achieved by the implementation of new technologies, including multi-color two-photon functional imaging in combination with patch clamp recordings and single cell rabies virus tracing as well as chronic 2-photon imaging of identified neurons. Specifically, we will test the hypothesis that neuronal diversity in auditory cortex is due to the interplay between uniform thalamic excitation and diverse inhibitory circuitry. We will identify the super-responding cells and study their cellular characteristics and connectivity patterns in order to understand their general role in the processing of auditory information. Finally, we will study the dendritic organization of the inputs to the super-responding cells, in order to understand how super-responsiveness is generated.