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Open Access Research article

Plumes of neuronal activity propagate in three dimensions through the nuclear avian brain

Gabriël JL Beckers12*, Jacqueline van der Meij1, John A Lesku13 and Niels C Rattenborg1*

Author Affiliations

1 Avian Sleep Group, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Eberhard-Gwinner-Strasse 11, 82319 Seewiesen, Germany

2 Cognitive Neurobiology and Helmholtz Institute, Departments of Psychology and Biology, Utrecht University, PO Box 80086, 3508 TB Utrecht, The Netherlands

3 Department of Zoology, La Trobe University, Kingsbury Drive, Melbourne VIC 3086, Australia

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BMC Biology 2014, 12:16  doi:10.1186/1741-7007-12-16

Published: 28 February 2014

Additional files

Additional file 1: Figure S1:

Electrode sites with positive local field potential (LFP) peaks near the brain surface are not usually associated with strong analogue multiunit activity (AMUA) peaks in the same recording site, suggesting the absence of neurons with action potential firing at these sites. To quantitatively verify this observation we calculated for every site (n = 811 sites in 13 birds) the skewness of its LFP signal, which is negative for negatively peaked signals and positive for positively peaked signals, and the kurtosis of its AMUA signal, which is a measure for its peakedness. Signals with stronger action potential firing have higher kurtosis. A plot of AMUA kurtosis against LFP skewness shows that sites with negatively peaked LFP signals overall have much stronger action potential firing. The difference in kurtosis between sites with negatively peaked LFP (median kurtosis: 32.9; n = 716) and positively peaked LFP (median kurtosis: 2.3; n = 95) is highly significant (Mann–Whitney-U test; u = 11,657, P <0.001). Kurtosis is calculated as excess kurtosis, so that the kurtosis of a normal distribution equals zero.

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Additional file 2: Video S1:

Video of the image sequence shown in Figure 2D.

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Additional file 3: Video S2:

Video of the image sequence shown in Figure 3A.

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Additional file 4: Video S3:

Video of the image sequence shown in Figure 3B.

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Additional file 5: Video S4:

Video of the image sequence shown in Figure 3C.

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Additional file 6: Video S5:

Video of the image sequence shown in Figure 3D.

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Additional file 7: Video S6:

Longer example of temporospatial slow-wave patterns in Bird 5. The multi-electrode probe is situated in a horizontal plane in the hyperpallium (cf. Figure 1A).

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Additional file 8: Video S7:

Longer example of temporospatial slow-wave patterns in Bird 9. The multi-electrode probe is situated in a horizontal plane in the hyperpallium (cf. Figure 1A).

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Additional file 9: Video S8:

Longer example of temporospatial slow-wave patterns in Bird 1. The multi-electrode probe is situated in a sagittal plane in the hyperpallium (cf. Figure 1A).

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Additional file 10: Video S9:

Longer example of temporospatial slow-wave patterns in Bird 12. The multi-electrode probe is situated in a horizontal plane in caudolateral nidopallium (NCL), a forebrain region that is almost maximally distant from the hyperpallium.

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Additional file 11: Figure S2:

Distribution of the translation speed of local field potential (LFP) plumes centers across the 2-D electrode gird in Bird 5 (horizontal hyperpallial recording). Across birds, the mean speed ranged from 0.023 to 0.040 m/s (mean +/− SEM: 0.031+/− 0.002, n = 7 birds) in the horizontal plane, and from 0.021 to 0.027 m/s (mean +/− SEM: 0.024 +/− 0.002, n = 4 birds) in the sagittal plane. The speed differences between recordings from horizontal and sagittal planes are not statistically significant (t = 2.2, p = 0.06). The mean speed in the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM) (n = 1) and caudolateral nidopallium (NCL) (n = 1) recordings was 0.038 and 0.029, respectively. Plume speed was determined by calculating the LFP center (that is, spatial mean, see Methods) translation speed in 1-ms time steps (cf. Figure 2G), and taking the average per plume. Note that translation speed across the 2-D electrode grid does not necessarily correspond to the plume propagation speed through the brain, because plumes may have complex 3-D temporospatial dynamics and impinge upon the 2-D electrode grid at unknown angles.

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Additional file 12: Figure S3:

Mean spectral power density of the local field potential (LFP) signals recorded in the hyperpallium shows a peak at 0.45 Hz. The mean (+/− SEM) was calculated over the power spectra from all hyperpallium recordings (n = 11 birds), selecting the same channel near the center of the electrode array. Power spectra were calculated using Welch’s method, using 10-s time windows and 99% overlap.

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