Relaying neural signals between cortical areas is central to cognition and sensory processing. The temporal coordination of activity in a source population has been suggested to determine corticocortical signaling efficacy, but others have argued that coordination is functionally irrelevant. We reasoned that if coordination significantly influenced signaling, spiking in downstream networks should be preceded by transiently elevated coordination in a source population. We developed a metric to quantify network coordination in brief epochs, and applied it to simultaneous recordings of neuronal populations in cortical areas V1 and V2 of the macaque monkey. Spiking in the input layers of V2 was preceded by brief epochs of elevated V1 coordination, but this was not the case in other layers of V2. Our results indicate that V1 coordination influences its signaling to direct downstream targets, but that coordinated V1 epochs do not propagate through multiple downstream networks as in some corticocortical signaling schemes. Cortical function requires communication between distinct areas. The importance of temporal coordination of spiking activity in this signaling has been debated. Zandvakili and Kohn show that coordination enhances communication between specific networks in primate areas V1 and V2.
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