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Data of behavioural experiments and corresponding spike trains

We recorded neuronal activity from barrel cortex while rats discriminated between a rough and a smooth texture without visual cues. Whiskers moved across both textures with a "stick and slip" behaviour and the spikes of cortical neurons were associated with distinctive kinetic events - high bending angles or the release from bending.

In the 200-ms interval before the animal's decision, spike counts were higher on average on rough trials than on smooth trials, and we propose firing rate as a cortical code for texture coarseness under these conditions. Spike count of a neuronal cluster carried, on average, 0.05 bits of information about the texture, about one-tenth of the information necessary to account for behaviour. The evidence indicates that firing rate is the neuronal substrate for the rats' discrimination of texture.

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