Multiple Overlapping Cell Assemblies Active During Motor Behavior

Alessandra Stella

Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine, Institute for Advanced Simulation, and JARA Brain Institute, Jülich Research Center
Monday, November 21, 2022 at 12:00pm
Evans Hall Room 560 and via Zoom (see below to obtain Zoom link)

The cell assembly hypothesis postulates that information processing in the brain entails the repetitive co-activation of groups of neurons [1]. The activation of such assemblies would lead to spatio-temporal spike patterns (STPs) at the resolution of a few milliseconds. In order to test the cell assembly hypothesis, we searched for significant STPs in parallel spike trains, using the SPADE method [2,3]. We analyzed experimental data from the motor cortex (M1/PMd) of macaque monkeys (Macaca mulatta) performing a reach-to-grasp task [4] and found an abundance of STPs. Quantitative analysis showed that STPs are functionally related to behavior, which suggests the presence of assemblies activated during the task.

[1] Hebb, D. O. (1949). John Wiley & Sons
[2] Stella et al. (2019). Biosystems, 185, 104022. [doi: 10.1016/j.biosystems.2019.104022]
[3] Stella et al. (2022). eNeuro [doi: 10.1523/ENEURO.0505-21.2022]
[4] Brochier et al. (2018). Scientific data 5.1: 1-23. [doi: 10.12751/g-node.f83565]

Note: This is one of two talks in this seminar. The other talk is by Aitor Morales-Gregorio.

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