Conserved structures of neural activity in sensorimotor cortex of freely moving rats allow cross-subject decoding [article]

Svenja Melbaum, David Eriksson, Thomas Brox, Ilka Diester
2021 bioRxiv   pre-print
Our knowledge about neuronal activity in the sensorimotor cortex relies primarily on stereotyped movements which are strictly controlled via the experimental settings. It remains unclear how results can be carried over to less constrained behavior, i.e. freely moving subjects. Towards this goal, we developed a self-paced behavioral paradigm which encouraged rats to conduct different types of movements. Via bilateral electrophysiological recordings across the entire sensorimotor cortex and
more » ... aneous paw tracking, we identified behavioral coupling of neurons with lateralization and an anterior-posterior gradient from premotor to primary sensory cortex. The structure of population activity patterns was conserved across animals, in spite of severe under sampling of the total number of neurons and variations of electrode positions across individuals. Via alignments of low-dimensional neural manifolds, we demonstrate cross-subject and cross-session generalization in a decoding task arguing for a conserved neuronal code.One-sentence summarySimilarity of neural population structures across the sensorimotor cortex enables generalization across animals in the decoding of unconstrained behavior.
doi:10.1101/2021.03.04.433869 fatcat:7tsmlnz3g5b2xddf2z4zzhvkua