Distributed and Localized Dynamics Emerge in the Mouse Neocortex during Reach-to-Grasp Behavior

Year: 2022

Authors: Quarta Eros; Scaglione Alessandro; Lucchesi Jessica; Sacconi Leonardo; Mascaro Anna Letizia Allegra; Pavone Francesco Saverio

Autors Affiliation: Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Florence, Sesto Fiorentino, Florence, 50019, Italy; European Laboratory for Non-Linear Spectroscopy, Sesto Fiorentino, Florence, 50019, Italy; National Instute of Optics, National Research Council, Sesto Fiorentino, Florence, 50019, Italy; Neuroscience Institute, National Research Council, Pisa, 56124, Italy

Abstract: A long-standing question in systems neuroscience is to what extent task-relevant features of neocortical processing are localized or distributed. Coordinated activity across the neocortex has been recently shown to drive complex behavior in the mouse, while activity in selected areas is canonically associated with specific functions (e.g., movements in the case of the motor cortex). Reach-to-grasp (RtG) movements are known to be dependent on motor circuits of the neocortex; however, the global activity of the neocortex during these movements has been largely unexplored in the mouse. Here, we characterized, using wide-field calcium imaging, these neocortex-wide dynamics in mice of either sex engaging in an RtG task. We demonstrate that, beyond motor regions, several areas, such as the visual and the retrosplenial cortices, also increase their activity levels during successful RtGs, and homologous regions across the ipsilateral hemisphere are also involved. Functional connectivity among neocortical areas increases transiently around movement onset and decreases during movement. Despite this global phenomenon, neural activity levels correlate with kinematics measures of successful RtGs in sensorimotor areas only. Our findings establish that distributed and localized neocortical dynamics co-orchestrate efficient control of complex movements.


Volume: 42 (5)      Pages from: 777  to: 788

KeyWords: calcium imaging; functional connectivity; neocortex; neural dynamics; reach-to-grasp; voluntary movement
DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0762-20.2021

Citations: 8
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