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Vibrotactile discrimination in the rat whisker system is based on neuronal coding of instantaneous kinematic cues.

Waiblinger C, Brugger D, Schwarz C - Cereb. Cortex (2013)

Bottom Line: We find that discrimination performance based on instantaneous kinematic cues far exceeds the ones provided by frequency and intensity.Neuronal modeling based on barrel cortex single units shows that small populations of sensitive neurons provide a transient signal that optimally fits the characteristic of the subject's perception.The present study is the first to show that perceptual read-out is superior in situations allowing the subject to base perception on detailed trajectory cues, that is, instantaneous kinematic variables.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Werner Reichardt Center for Integrative Neuroscience, Systems Neuroscience, Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, Department of Cognitive Neurology, Eberhard Karls University, Tübingen, Germany.

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Experimental strategy. (A) Head-fixed rats were trained on a detection of change (DOC) task. Constant pulsatile stimuli were applied to a single whisker and the animals had to detect a 1-s change (S+, gray box) with a lick response in order to get a water reward. No change served as catch trial (S−). Impulsive licks triggered extra time of background stimulation. (B) Overview of the stimulus sets applied in the different experiments of this study (first column). The general idea was to keep one of the 3 vibrotactile parameters intensity (I), frequency (F), or instantaneous kinematic cues (K) constant between S− and S+ (second column) and only vary the other 2. Schematic stimulus waveforms at the time of stimulus transitions are shown in the third column. Using pulsatile stimuli, an increase of instantaneous kinematic cues (i.e., increase of pulse amplitude) is correlated with intensity but not pulse frequency. Column 4 denotes the role played for temporal integration for successful discrimination in each experiment. (C) In Experiment 2a, the instantaneous kinematic cues are constant; therefore, the observer has to integrate the running stimulus with a minimal time window comprising more than one pulse (>10 ms). Stimulus transitions filtered with integration windows of different size (gray boxes = moving average) demonstrate that perfect discrimination of these stimuli can theoretically be performed very soon after the stimulus onset.
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BHT305F1: Experimental strategy. (A) Head-fixed rats were trained on a detection of change (DOC) task. Constant pulsatile stimuli were applied to a single whisker and the animals had to detect a 1-s change (S+, gray box) with a lick response in order to get a water reward. No change served as catch trial (S−). Impulsive licks triggered extra time of background stimulation. (B) Overview of the stimulus sets applied in the different experiments of this study (first column). The general idea was to keep one of the 3 vibrotactile parameters intensity (I), frequency (F), or instantaneous kinematic cues (K) constant between S− and S+ (second column) and only vary the other 2. Schematic stimulus waveforms at the time of stimulus transitions are shown in the third column. Using pulsatile stimuli, an increase of instantaneous kinematic cues (i.e., increase of pulse amplitude) is correlated with intensity but not pulse frequency. Column 4 denotes the role played for temporal integration for successful discrimination in each experiment. (C) In Experiment 2a, the instantaneous kinematic cues are constant; therefore, the observer has to integrate the running stimulus with a minimal time window comprising more than one pulse (>10 ms). Stimulus transitions filtered with integration windows of different size (gray boxes = moving average) demonstrate that perfect discrimination of these stimuli can theoretically be performed very soon after the stimulus onset.

Mentions: Three different manipulations were carried out to distinguish S+ (rewarded) from S− (nonrewarded) stimuli (Experiments 1a, b, and 2a). The first set of stimuli (used in Experiment 1a) varied frequency, and kinematic variables, but kept intensity constant (balanced change of the 2 basic parameters in opposite direction). The second set (used in Experiments 1b and 2b) varied intensity and instantaneous kinematic cues but kept frequency constant (exclusive manipulation of pulse amplitude). Finally, the third set (used in Experiment 2a) varied frequency and intensity, and kept instantaneous kinematic cues constant (exclusive manipulation of interpulse frequency) (cf. Fig. 1).Figure 1.


Vibrotactile discrimination in the rat whisker system is based on neuronal coding of instantaneous kinematic cues.

Waiblinger C, Brugger D, Schwarz C - Cereb. Cortex (2013)

Experimental strategy. (A) Head-fixed rats were trained on a detection of change (DOC) task. Constant pulsatile stimuli were applied to a single whisker and the animals had to detect a 1-s change (S+, gray box) with a lick response in order to get a water reward. No change served as catch trial (S−). Impulsive licks triggered extra time of background stimulation. (B) Overview of the stimulus sets applied in the different experiments of this study (first column). The general idea was to keep one of the 3 vibrotactile parameters intensity (I), frequency (F), or instantaneous kinematic cues (K) constant between S− and S+ (second column) and only vary the other 2. Schematic stimulus waveforms at the time of stimulus transitions are shown in the third column. Using pulsatile stimuli, an increase of instantaneous kinematic cues (i.e., increase of pulse amplitude) is correlated with intensity but not pulse frequency. Column 4 denotes the role played for temporal integration for successful discrimination in each experiment. (C) In Experiment 2a, the instantaneous kinematic cues are constant; therefore, the observer has to integrate the running stimulus with a minimal time window comprising more than one pulse (>10 ms). Stimulus transitions filtered with integration windows of different size (gray boxes = moving average) demonstrate that perfect discrimination of these stimuli can theoretically be performed very soon after the stimulus onset.
© Copyright Policy - creative-commons
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4380004&req=5

BHT305F1: Experimental strategy. (A) Head-fixed rats were trained on a detection of change (DOC) task. Constant pulsatile stimuli were applied to a single whisker and the animals had to detect a 1-s change (S+, gray box) with a lick response in order to get a water reward. No change served as catch trial (S−). Impulsive licks triggered extra time of background stimulation. (B) Overview of the stimulus sets applied in the different experiments of this study (first column). The general idea was to keep one of the 3 vibrotactile parameters intensity (I), frequency (F), or instantaneous kinematic cues (K) constant between S− and S+ (second column) and only vary the other 2. Schematic stimulus waveforms at the time of stimulus transitions are shown in the third column. Using pulsatile stimuli, an increase of instantaneous kinematic cues (i.e., increase of pulse amplitude) is correlated with intensity but not pulse frequency. Column 4 denotes the role played for temporal integration for successful discrimination in each experiment. (C) In Experiment 2a, the instantaneous kinematic cues are constant; therefore, the observer has to integrate the running stimulus with a minimal time window comprising more than one pulse (>10 ms). Stimulus transitions filtered with integration windows of different size (gray boxes = moving average) demonstrate that perfect discrimination of these stimuli can theoretically be performed very soon after the stimulus onset.
Mentions: Three different manipulations were carried out to distinguish S+ (rewarded) from S− (nonrewarded) stimuli (Experiments 1a, b, and 2a). The first set of stimuli (used in Experiment 1a) varied frequency, and kinematic variables, but kept intensity constant (balanced change of the 2 basic parameters in opposite direction). The second set (used in Experiments 1b and 2b) varied intensity and instantaneous kinematic cues but kept frequency constant (exclusive manipulation of pulse amplitude). Finally, the third set (used in Experiment 2a) varied frequency and intensity, and kept instantaneous kinematic cues constant (exclusive manipulation of interpulse frequency) (cf. Fig. 1).Figure 1.

Bottom Line: We find that discrimination performance based on instantaneous kinematic cues far exceeds the ones provided by frequency and intensity.Neuronal modeling based on barrel cortex single units shows that small populations of sensitive neurons provide a transient signal that optimally fits the characteristic of the subject's perception.The present study is the first to show that perceptual read-out is superior in situations allowing the subject to base perception on detailed trajectory cues, that is, instantaneous kinematic variables.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Werner Reichardt Center for Integrative Neuroscience, Systems Neuroscience, Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, Department of Cognitive Neurology, Eberhard Karls University, Tübingen, Germany.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus