Striatal activity topographically reflects cortical activity

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The dorsal striatum receives a major and topographic input from the cortex, and the cortex and striatum are thought to work together to carry out a diverse set of functions. It is unclear how the cortex and striatum influence each other however, and it has been suggested that each carries distinct sensorimotor correlates to serve complementary roles. We sought to record from connected regions of the cortex and striatum in mice during sensory guided behavior to determine the relationship of activity across structures. We found precise spatial correlations in activity following anatomical projections from the cortex to the striatum, and activity in the striatum reflected that in associated cortical regions consistently across behavioral contexts. This match in activity was scaled by learning, as untrained mice exhibited smaller sensory responses selectively in the striatum. These results suggest a simple and scalable mapping of activity between the cortex and striatum.