Cortical propagating waves: amplifying and suppressive?

Matteo di Volo, Sandrine Chemla and Alain Destexhe

Journal of Computational Neuroscience, in press, 2021.

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In this commentary, we would like to revisit a recent publication by Davis et al. (Nature, 2020) showing that propagating waves in cerebral cortex could serve to boost the response to visual stimuli and gate perception. It seems therefore interesting to us to relate these observations to the suppressive traveling waves previously observed in the awake monkey (Chemla et al., J. Neurosci. 2019). We would like to overview these two results, clarifying that they are compatible and suggest that they may represent different facets of the same phenomenon. Consistent with this, we propose that the mechanism of suppressive waves modulates the response to visual stimuli and, ultimately, their detection.

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