F. Cocina; A. Vitalis; A. Caflisch

Journal: eNeuro
Year: 2021
Volume: 8
Issue: 6
DOI: 10.1523/ENEURO.0484-20.2021
Type of Publication: Journal Article


The hippocampus and amygdala are functionally coupled brain regions that play a crucial role in processes involving memory and learning. Because interareal communication has been reported both during specific sleep stages and in awake, behaving animals, these brain regions can serve as an archetype to establish that measuring functional interactions is important for comprehending neural systems. To this end, we analyze here a public dataset of local field potentials (LFPs) recorded in rats simultaneously from the hippocampus and amygdala during different behaviors. Employing a specific, time-lagged embedding technique, named topological causality (TC), we infer directed interactions between the LFP band powers of the two regions across six frequency bands in a time-resolved manner. The combined power and interaction signals are processed with our own unsupervised tools developed originally for the analysis of molecular dynamics simulations to effectively visualize and identify putative, neural states that are visited by the animals repeatedly. Our proposed methodology minimizes impositions onto the data, such as isolating specific epochs, or averaging across externally annotated behavioral stages, and succeeds in separating internal states by external labels such as sleep or stimulus events. We show that this works better for two of the three rats we analyzed, and highlight the need to acknowledge individuality in analyses of this type. Importantly, we demonstrate that the quantification of functional interactions is a significant factor in discriminating these external labels, and we suggest our methodology as a general tool for large, multisite recordings.