Spatiotemporal Coordination of Slow-Wave Ongoing Activity across Auditory Cortical Areas
Natural acoustic stimuli contain slow temporal fluctuations, and the modulation of ongoing slow-wave activity by bottom-up and top-down factors plays essential roles in auditory cortical processing. However, the spatiotemporal pattern of intrinsic slow-wave activity across the auditory cortical modality is unknown. Using in vivo voltage-sensitive dye imaging in anesthetized guinea pigs, we measured spectral tuning to acoustic stimuli across several core and belt auditory cortical areas, and then recorded spontaneous activity across this defined network. We found that phase coherence in spontaneous slow-wave (delta-theta band) activity was highest between regions of core and belt areas that had similar frequency tuning, even if they were distant. Further, core and belt regions with high phase coherence were phase shifted. Interestingly, phase shifts observed during spontaneous activity paralleled latency differences for evoked activity. Our findings suggest that the circuits underlying this intrinsic source of slow-wave activity support coordinated changes in excitability between functionally matched but distributed regions of the auditory cortical network.