Comparing the feature selectivity of the gamma-band of the local field potential and the underlying spiking activity in primate visual cortex
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences . Biomedical Sciences
Frontiers in systems neuroscience
, p. 1-11
The local field potential (LFP), comprised of low-frequency extra-cellular voltage fluctuations, has been used extensively to study the mechanisms of brain function. In particular, oscillations in the gamma-band (3090 Hz) are ubiquitous in the cortex of many species during various cognitive processes. Surprisingly little is known about the underlying biophysical processes generating this signal. Here, we examine the relationship of the local field potential to the activity of localized populations of neurons by simultaneously recording spiking activity and LFP from the primary visual cortex (V1) of awake, behaving macaques. The spatial organization of orientation tuning and ocular dominance in this area provides an excellent opportunity to study this question, because orientation tuning is organized at a scale around one order of magnitude finer than the size of ocular dominance columns. While we find a surprisingly weak correlation between the preferred orientation of multi-unit activity and gamma-band LFP recorded on the same tetrode, there is a strong correlation between the ocular preferences of both signals. Given the spatial arrangement of orientation tuning and ocular dominance, this leads us to conclude that the gamma-band of the LFP seems to sample an area considerably larger than orientation columns. Rather, its spatial resolution lies at the scale of ocular dominance columns.