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You are here: Home Data Sets Somatosensory cortex ssc-4 (Somatosensory cortex 4) About ssc-4

About ssc-4

Information about the data including data types, experiments, format of the data, how to download the data.

Summary of the data

The data set described in this document was collected from extracellular spike recordings in whisker primary somatosensory cortex (S1) of rats performing a whisker based discrimination task. Neural activity is described by the spike times of isolated single and multiunit clusters obtained from spike sorting from moveable tetrode arrays. The whisker stimuli consisted of rapid whisker impulse sequences. Each sequence (120-150 ms total duration) contained 3 brief impulses (16-26 ms each) with either Fast (F), Medium (M) or Slow (S) rise-fall velocity. Sequences had FFF, FMS, SMF or SSS order. Thus, sequences varied in whisker deflection speed at short (5-20 ms) and long (150 ms) time scales. On each trial, one stimulus was delivered, and rats discriminated stimuli in a 2-alternative forced choice task. Hence, this data set serves as a resource to explore the time scales at which cortical neurons encode whisker stimuli and how their spiking activity correlates to sensory perception. The structure contains trial information and complete neurophysiology data from 5 rats, over a total of 80 recording sessions. Neural recordings are from layer 2/3 to 6 of S1, and include both fast-spiking and regular spiking single units (identified separately). These data are the basis for the following paper, which contains a detailed description of the methods and results:

Short time-scale sensory coding in S1 during discrimination of whisker vibrotactile sequences Leah M. McGuire*, Gregory Telian*, Keven Laboy-Juárez*, Toshio Miyashita, Daniel J. Lee, Katherine A. Smith, and Daniel E. Feldman. PLoS Biology, 2016

Format of the data

All data is stored in a single matlab file. The structure of the file is described in the document linked to at the end of this page. Total data size is about 100 MB.

Conditions for usage of this data in publications

If you publish any work using the data, please cite the publication above (McGuire, Telian, Laboy-Juárez et al., 2016) also cite the data set in the following recommended format:

Leah M. McGuire; Gregory Telian; Keven Laboy-Juárez; Toshio Miyashita; Daniel J. Lee; Katherine A. Smith; Daniel E. Feldman (2016); Extracellular recordings in rat barrel cortex during a whisker based discrimination task of tactile stimuli that varied in whisker deflection speed at short and fast time scales.

The above citation uses a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) which is assigned to the data set.  The DOI was created using DataCite ( and the California Digital Library, "EZID" system (

How to download the data

Data may be downloaded from:
A account is required. See the download link for more instructions.

Getting help using the data

If you have questions about using the data, please post them on the forum for using data sets.

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