Individual cortical neurons can selectively respond to specific environmental features, such as visual motion or faces. How this relates to the selectivity of the presynaptic network across cortical layers remains unclear. We used single-cell - initiated, monosynaptically restricted retrograde transsynaptic tracing with rabies viruses expressing GCaMP6s to image, in vivo, the visual motion - evoked activity of individual layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons and their presynaptic networks across layers in mouse primary visual cortex. Neurons within each layer exhibited similar motion direction preferences, forming layer-specific functional modules. In one-third of the networks, the layer modules were locked to the direction preference of the postsynaptic neuron, whereas for other networks the direction preference varied by layer. Thus, there exist feature-locked and feature-variant cortical networks.
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