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Synaptic and intrinsic mechanisms underlying development of cortical direction selectivity


Roy, Arani et al. (2020), Synaptic and intrinsic mechanisms underlying development of cortical direction selectivity, Dryad, Dataset,


Modifications of synaptic inputs and cell-intrinsic properties both contribute to neuronal plasticity and development. To better understand these mechanisms, we undertook an intracellular analysis of the development of direction selectivity in the ferret visual cortex, which occurs rapidly over a few days after eye opening. We found strong evidence of developmental changes in linear spatiotemporal receptive fields of simple cells, implying alterations in circuit inputs. Further, this receptive field plasticity was accompanied by increases in near-spike-threshold excitability and input-output gain that resulted in dramatically increased spiking responses in the experienced state. Increases in subthreshold membrane responses induced by the receptive field plasticity and the increased input-output spiking gain were both necessary to explain the elevated firing rates in experienced ferrets. These results demonstrate that cortical direction selectivity develops through a combination of plasticity in inputs and in cell-intrinsic properties.


Please see the Methods section of 10.7554/eLife.58509

The data were processed with functions in In order to run those functions, one would need to install several libraries, which can be installed with our lab's installer at

Usage Notes

Each experiment was performed on a different date, and the data are organized by folder.

In each folder, each recording epoch is a folder (t00001, t00002, etc).

The full description of what each file type in each epoch is given at (copied below).

See and

The results of analyses are stored in "documents" of a new prototype data interface standard called Neuroscience Data Interface (NDI). The documents are in a subfolder of each experiment called ".ndi". The documents have a JSON portion (with extension .json) and a binary portion (with extension .binary). If the libraries at are installed, then the files can be opened in NDI in Matlab using

E = ndi_session_dir(PATHNAME)

To retreive all documents from an experiment, use

docs = E.database_search({'','(.*)'})

Please see the documentation at This prototype is under development and it is expected that a GUI will be developed and available in 2021.


National Eye Institute, Award: EY022122