For the paper:

Kremer Y, Leger JF, Goodman D, Brette R, Bourdieu L (2011) Late
emergence of the vibrissa direction selectivity map in the rat barrel
cortex. J Neurosci 31:10689-700


In the neocortex, neuronal selectivities for multiple sensorimotor
modalities are often distributed in topographical maps thought to
emerge during a restricted period in early postnatal
development. Rodent barrel cortex contains a somatotopic map for
vibrissa identity, but the existence of maps representing other
tactile features has not been clearly demonstrated. We addressed the
issue of the existence in the rat cortex of an intrabarrel map for
vibrissa movement direction using in vivo two-photon imaging. We
discovered that the emergence of a direction map in rat barrel cortex
occurs long after all known critical periods in the somatosensory
system. This map is remarkably specific, taking a pinwheel-like form
centered near the barrel center and aligned to the barrel cortex
somatotopy. We suggest that this map may arise from intracortical
mechanisms and demonstrate by simulation that the combination of
spike-timing-dependent plasticity at synapses between layer 4 and
layer 2/3 and realistic pad stimulation is sufficient to produce such
a map. Its late emergence long after other classical maps suggests
that experience-dependent map formation and refinement continue
throughout adult life.

Brian simulator models are available at this web page:

The simulation creates a selectivity map similar to Fig. 7c middle:


and a histogram of the angles present:


This simulation requires Brian which can be downloaded and installed
from the instructions available at

For support on installing and using Brian simulations there is a
support group at