Texture coarseness responsive neurons and their mapping in layer 2-3 of the rat barrel cortex in vivo

Liora Garion, Uri Dubin, Yoav Rubin, Mohamed Khateb, Yitzhak Schiller, Rony Azouz, Jackie Schiller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Texture discrimination is a fundamental function of somatosensory systems, yet the manner by which texture is coded and spatially represented in the barrel cortex are largely unknown. Using in vivo two-photon calcium imaging in the rat barrel cortex during artificial whisking against different surface coarseness or controlled passive whisker vibrations simulating different coarseness, we show that layer 2-3 neurons within barrel boundaries differentially respond to specific texture coarsenesses, while only a minority of neurons responded monotonically with increased or decreased surface coarseness. Neurons with similar preferred texture coarseness were spatially clustered. Multi-contact single unit recordings showed a vertical columnar organization of texture coarseness preference in layer 2-3. These findings indicate that layer 2-3 neurons perform high hierarchical processing of tactile information, with surface coarseness embodied by distinct neuronal subpopulations that are spatially mapped onto the barrel cortex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e03405
StatePublished - 18 Sep 2014


  • Algorithms
  • Aniline Compounds/chemistry
  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Facial Nerve/physiology
  • Fluorescent Dyes/chemistry
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Movement/physiology
  • Neurons/chemistry
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Somatosensory Cortex/cytology
  • Surface Properties
  • Vibrissae/physiology
  • Xanthenes/chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Texture coarseness responsive neurons and their mapping in layer 2-3 of the rat barrel cortex in vivo'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this