Unsupervised detection of cell ensembles in rats' primary motor cortex during online and offline processing

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Nazari Robati, Peyman
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Neuroscience
Motor actions engage intricate neural processes, spanning active learning phases and crucial offline periods, notably during sleep. Online learning involves diverse neural dynamics, while sleep is known for its role in skill consolidation. While numerous studies have contributed to our understanding of information processing during online and offline learning periods, these investigations have often focused on specific learning phases, leaving the intricate relationships between diverse online learning neural activities and sleep processing relatively unexplored. Here, we embarked on a comprehensive analysis aimed at unraveling the interplay between primary motor cortex (M1) neural activity during reach-to-grasp skill learning and sleep, employing an unsupervised framework. During online training, our findings uncovered four neural dynamics related to the motor execution, with compelling evidence of their replay during post-training sleep, both in Rapid Eye Movement and Slow-Wave Sleep (SWS). Moreover, our data revealed that all cell ensembles, irrespective of their dynamics during the task, exhibited substantial reactivation during spindles coupled with slow-oscillations in SWS. Further exploration on the cortico-hippocampal communication led us to investigate the activation patterns of M1 cell ensembles during hippocampal sharp-wave ripples. Our results demonstrated the dynamic suppression and enhancement modulation of M1 cell ensembles during SWS-ripples across learning days suggesting complex cortico-hippocampal dialogues associated with sensorimotor learning task. We thus contributed to understand the extensive details of neural mechanisms underlying motor learning tasks during online and offline processing periods.
memory reactivation , motor learning , sleep , sharp-wave ripples