Inhibition stabilization is a widespread property of cortical networks.

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Many cortical network models use recurrent coupling strong enough to require inhibition for stabilization. Yet it has been experimentally unclear whether inhibition-stabilized network (ISN) models describe cortical function well across areas and states. Here, we test several ISN predictions, including the counterintuitive (paradoxical) suppression of inhibitory firing in response to optogenetic inhibitory stimulation. We find clear evidence for ISN operation in mouse visual, somatosensory, and motor cortex. Simple two-population ISN models describe the data well and let us quantify coupling strength. Although some models predict a non-ISN to ISN transition with increasingly strong sensory stimuli, we find ISN effects without sensory stimulation and even during light anesthesia. Additionally, average paradoxical effects result only with transgenic, not viral, opsin expression in parvalbumin (PV)-positive neurons; theory and expression data show this is consistent with ISN operation. Taken together, these results show strong coupling and inhibition stabilization are common features of the cortex.





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Sanzeni, Alessandro, Bradley Akitake, Hannah C Goldbach, Caitlin E Leedy, Nicolas Brunel and Mark H Histed (2020). Inhibition stabilization is a widespread property of cortical networks. eLife, 9. pp. 1–39. 10.7554/elife.54875 Retrieved from

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