C05 Inhibitory control of cortical output
In this project, we will combine novel experimental and computational approaches to explore how inhibitory interneurons (INs) contribute to sensory-evoked responses in the major output cell type of the neocortex – pyramidal tract neurons (PTs). PTs integrate synaptic input patterns that originate from virtually all types of local (intra-cortical) excitatory and inhibitory neurons, as well as from several cortico-cortical (i.e. across cortical areas) and subcortical (e.g. thalamo-cortical) long-range pathways. The result of integrating these highly heterogeneous input patterns is then broadcasted to a variety of target structures throughout the brain, but depends on the specific targets of each individual PT. Here, we hypothesize that subsets (or types) of INs synaptically innervate PTs in a manner that is related to the target structures of the respective PTs. The resultant target-related inhibitory synaptic input patterns may thereby shape the sensory-evoked responses of PTs in a target-related manner. In this project, we will thus elucidate mechanisms of how the interplay between biophysical properties of PT dendrites and principles of inhibitory circuit organization aid the transformation of sensory input into target-related cortical output.