GABAB receptor-mediated, layer-specific synaptic plasticity reorganizes gamma-frequency neocortical response to stimulation

Matthew Ainsworth, Shane Lee, Marcus Kaiser, Jennifer Simonotto, Nancy J. Kopell, Miles Adrian Whittington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Repeated presentations of sensory stimuli generate transient gamma-frequency (30-80 Hz) responses in neocortex that show plasticity in a task-dependent manner. Complex relationships between individual neuronal outputs and the mean, local field potential (population activity) accompany these changes, but little is known about the underlying mechanisms responsible. Here we show that transient stimulation of input layer 4 sufficient to generate gamma oscillations induced two different, lamina-specific plastic processes that correlated with lamina-specific changes in responses to further, repeated stimulation: Unit rates and recruitment showed overall enhancement in supragranular layers and suppression in infragranular layers associated with excitatory or inhibitory synaptic potentiation onto principal cells, respectively. Both synaptic processes were critically dependent on activation of GABAB receptors and, together, appeared to temporally segregate the cortical representation. These data suggest that adaptation to repetitive sensory input dramatically alters the spatiotemporal properties of the neocortical response in a manner that may both refine and minimize cortical output simultaneously.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1605243113
Pages (from-to)E2721-E2729
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA
Issue number19
Early online date26 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2016

Bibliographical note

© 2016, The Author(s).


  • Gaba receptor
  • Gamma rhythms
  • Habituation
  • Sensory processing
  • Synaptic plasticity

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