Locus coeruleus spiking differently correlates with S1 cortex activity and pupil diameter in a tactile detection task


We examined the relationships between activity in the locus coeruleus (LC), activity in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1), and pupil diameter in mice performing a tactile detection task. While LC spiking consistently preceded S1 membrane potential depolarization and pupil dilation, the correlation between S1 and pupil was more heterogeneous. Furthermore, the relationships between LC, S1, and pupil varied on timescales of sub-seconds to seconds within trials. Our data suggest that pupil diameter can be dissociated from LC spiking and cannot be used as a stationary index of LC activity.