Response properties of local field potentials and multiunit activity in the mouse visual cortex

R. Land*, G. Engler, A. Kral, A. K. Engel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Extracellular local field potentials (LFPs) and multiunit activity (MUA) reflect the spatially integrated activity of multiple neurons in a given cortical structure. In the cat and primate visual cortices, these signals exhibit selectivity for visual stimulus features, such as orientation, direction of motion or spatial frequency. In the mouse visual cortex, a model which has been increasingly used in visual neuroscience, the visual stimulus selectivity of population signals has not been examined in detail. We recorded LFPs and MUA using multielectrode arrays and two derived measures, the high-pass filtered continuous MUA and the bipolar first spatial derivative of the LFP, in the visual cortex of isoflurane-anesthetized C57Bl/6 mice. We analyzed the onset latency and characterized the receptive fields in addition to the direction, orientation, and spatial and temporal frequency preferences of these signals. Population signals exhibited onset latencies as short as ~30. ms and possessed receptive fields as large as ~38° with MUA receptive fields smaller than those of LFPs. All four population signals exhibited similar spatial frequency preferences (~0.1 cycles per degree) and temporal frequency preferences (~1 cycle per second). However, for all population signals, spatial and frequency tunings were broad and orientation and direction of motion preferences were absent. The characterization of the visual stimulus selectivity of LFPs and MUA in the mouse visual cortex should provide information regarding their usability in characterizing stimulus properties and disclose possible limitations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-151
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • LFP
  • Mouse
  • Multiunit activity
  • Receptive fields
  • Stimulus selectivity
  • Visual cortex


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