In vivo two-photon voltage-sensitive dye imaging reveals top-down control of cortical layers 1 and 2 during wakefulness.
Kuhn B., Denk W., Bruno RM.
Conventional methods of imaging membrane potential changes have limited spatial resolution, particularly along the axis perpendicular to the cortical surface. The laminar organization of the cortex suggests, however, that the distribution of activity in depth is not uniform. We developed a technique to resolve network activity of different cortical layers in vivo using two-photon microscopy of the voltage-sensitive dye (VSD) ANNINE-6. We imaged spontaneous voltage changes in the barrel field of the somatosensory cortex of head-restrained mice and analyzed their spatiotemporal correlations during anesthesia and wakefulness. EEG recordings always correlated more strongly with VSD signals in layer (L) 2 than in L1. Nearby (<200 mum) cortical areas were correlated with one another during anesthesia. Waking the mouse strongly desynchronized neighboring cortical areas in L1 in the 4- to 10-Hz frequency band. Wakefulness also slightly increased synchrony of neighboring territories in L2 in the 0.5- to 4.0-Hz range. Our observations are consistent with the idea that, in the awake animal, long-range inputs to L1 of the sensory cortex from various cortical and thalamic areas exert top-down control on sensory processing.