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Responses of Trigeminal Ganglion Neurons to the Radial Distance of Contact During Active Vibrissal Touch
 

Summary: Responses of Trigeminal Ganglion Neurons to the Radial Distance of Contact
During Active Vibrissal Touch
Marcin Szwed,* Knarik Bagdasarian,* Barak Blumenfeld, Omri Barak, Dori Derdikman, and Ehud Ahissar
Department of Neurobiology, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
Submitted 1 June 2005; accepted in final form 26 September 2005
Szwed, Marcin, Knarik Bagdasarian, Barak Blumenfeld, Omri
Barak, Dori Derdikman, and Ehud Ahissar. Responses of trigem-
inal ganglion neurons to the radial distance of contact during active
vibrissal touch. J Neurophysiol 95: 791­802, 2006. First published
October 5, 2005; doi:10.1152/jn.00571.2005. Rats explore their envi-
ronment by actively moving their whiskers. Recently, we described
how object location in the horizontal (front­back) axis is encoded by
first-order neurons in the trigeminal ganglion (TG) by spike timing.
Here we show how TG neurons encode object location along the
radial coordinate, i.e., from the snout outward. Using extracellular
recordings from urethane-anesthetized rats and electrically induced
whisking, we found that TG neurons encode radial distance primarily
by the number of spikes fired. When an object was positioned closer
to the whisker root, all touch-selective neurons recorded fired more
spikes. Some of these cells responded exclusively to objects located

  

Source: Ahissar, Ehud - Department of Neurobiology, Weizmann Institute of Science

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine