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ABSTRACT Development of the cortical circuits for sensory-motor processing require the coordinated integration of both columnar and long-range synaptic connections. To understand how this occurs at the level of individual neurons we have explored the timeline over which vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP)-expressing interneurons integrate into mouse somatosensory cortex. We find a distinction in emergent long-range anterior-motor and columnar glutamatergic inputs onto layer (L)2 and L3 VIP+ interneurons respectively. In parallel, VIP+ interneurons form efferent connections onto both pyramidal cells and interneurons in the immediate column in an inside-out manner. Cell-autonomous deletion of the fate-determinant transcription factor, Prox1 , spares long-range anterior-motor inputs onto VIP+ interneurons, but leads to deficits in local connectivity. This imbalance in the somatosensory circuit results in altered spontaneous and sensory-evoked cortical activity in vivo . This identifies a critical role for VIP+ interneurons, and more broadly interneuron heterogeneity, in formative circuits of neocortex.

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