Aggregate signals in cortex are known to be spatiotemporally organized as propagating waves across the cortical surface, but it remains unclear whether the same is true for spiking activity in individual neurons. Furthermore, the functional interactions between cortical neurons are well documented but their spatial arrangement on the cortical surface has been largely ignored. Here we use a functional network analysis to demonstrate that a subset of motor cortical neurons in non-human primates spatially coordinate their spiking activity in a manner that closely matches wave propagation measured in the beta oscillatory band of the local field potential. We also demonstrate that sequential spiking of pairs of neuron contains task-relevant information that peaks when the neurons are spatially oriented along the wave axis. We hypothesize that the spatial anisotropy of spike patterning may reflect the underlying organization of motor cortex and may be a general property shared by other cortical areas.
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Takahashi, Kazutaka; Kim, Sanggyun; Coleman, Todd P.; Brown, Kevin A.; Suminski, Aaron J.; Best, Matthew D.; and Hatsopoulos, Nicholas G., "Large-scale Spatiotemporal Spike Patterning Consistent with Wave Propagation in Motor Cortex" (2015). Biomedical Engineering Faculty Research and Publications. 491.