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2 Publications

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    08/07/18 | Inhibitory control of prefrontal cortex by the claustrum.
    Jackson J, Karnani MM, Zemelman BV, Burdakov D, Lee AK
    Neuron. 2018 Aug 07;99(5):1029-39. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2018.07.031

    The claustrum is a small subcortical nucleus that has extensive excitatory connections with many cortical areas. While the anatomical connectivity from the claustrum to the cortex has been studied intensively, the physiological effect and underlying circuit mechanisms of claustrocortical communication remain elusive. Here we show that the claustrum provides strong, widespread, and long-lasting feedforward inhibition of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) sufficient to silence ongoing neural activity. This claustrocortical feedforward inhibition was predominantly mediated by interneurons containing neuropeptide Y, and to a lesser extent those containing parvalbumin. Therefore, in contrast to other long-range excitatory inputs to the PFC, the claustrocortical pathway is designed to provide overall inhibition of cortical activity. This unique circuit organization allows the claustrum to rapidly and powerfully suppress cortical networks and suggests a distinct role for the claustrum in regulating cognitive processes in prefrontal circuits.

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    04/20/18 | Elucidating neuronal mechanisms using intracellular recordings during behavior.
    Lee AK, Brecht M
    Trends in Neurosciences. 2018 Apr 20;41(6):385-403. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2018.03.014

    Intracellular recording allows measurement and perturbation of the membrane potential of identified neurons with sub-millisecond and sub-millivolt precision. This gives intracellular recordings a unique capacity to provide rich information about individual cells (e.g., high-resolution characterization of inputs, outputs, excitability, and structure). Hence, such recordings can elucidate the mechanisms that underlie fundamental phenomena, such as brain state, sparse coding, gating, gain modulation, and learning. Technical developments have increased the range of behaviors during which intracellular recording methods can be employed, such as in freely moving animals and head-fixed animals actively performing tasks, including in virtual environments. Such advances, and the combination of intracellular recordings with genetic and imaging techniques, have enabled investigation of the mechanisms that underlie neural computations during natural and trained behaviors.

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