The head direction (HD) circuit is a complex, interconnected network of brain regions ranging from the brainstem to the cortex. Recent work found that HD cells co-recorded ipsilaterally in the anterodorsal nucleus (ADN) of the thalamus displayed coordinated firing patterns. A high frequency oscillation pattern (130-160 Hz) was visible in the cross-correlograms of these HD cell pairs. Spectral analysis further found that the power of this oscillation was greatest at 0 ms and decreased at greater lags, and demonstrated that there was greater synchrony between HD cells with similar tunings. Here, we demonstrate that the same high frequency synchrony exists in HD cell pairs recorded contralaterally from one another in the bilateral ADN. When we examined the cross-correlograms of HD cells that were co-recorded bilaterally we observed the same high frequency (~150-200 Hz) oscillatory relationship. The strength of this synchrony was similar to the synchrony seen in ipsilateral HD cell pairs, and the degree of synchrony in each cross-correlogram was dependent on the difference in tuning between the two cells. Additionally, the frequency rate of this oscillation appeared to be independent of the firing rates of the two cross-correlated cells. Taken together, these results imply that the left and right thalamic HD network are functionally related, despite an absence of direct anatomical projections. However, anatomical tracing has found that each of the lateral mammillary nuclei (LMN) project bilaterally to both of the ADN, suggesting the LMN may be responsible for the functional connectivity observed between the two ADN.
- Spatial cognition
- Anterior thalamus
- High frequency oscillations
- Head direction cells
- Copyright © 2016, Journal of Neurophysiology