A minicolumn is the smallest anatomical module in the cortical architecture, but it is still in debate whether it serves as functional units for cortical processing. In the rodent primary visual cortex (V1), neurons with different preferred orientations are mixed horizontally in a salt and pepper manner, but vertical functional organization was not examined. In this study, we found that neurons with similar orientation preference are weakly but significantly clustered vertically in a short length and horizontally in the scale of a minicolumn. Interestingly, the vertical clustering is found only in a part of minicolumns, and others are composed of neurons with a variety of orientation preferences. Thus, the mouse V1 is a mixture of vertical clusters of neurons with various degrees of orientation similarity, which may be the compromise between the brain size and keeping the vertical clusters of similarly tuned neurons at least in a subset of clusters.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)