Fig. S1. The spectral powers of the EEG bands with or without sensory stimulation in the ipsilateral whisker pad were not significantly different. In order to quantify the effect of whisker stimulation on the EEG activity in the hemisphere ipsilateral to the stimulation, EEG was recorded during 80 trials; in a randomly selected half of the trials the whisker was stimulated. It was found that in each band the EEG power during whisker stimulation was not significantly different from trials without whisker stimulation (n = 21 whiskers from five animals).

Fig. S2. Trial-to-trial variations of EEG are not due to a slow drift in brain activity. (A – left panel) Example vectors from three different animals corresponding to the delta power during 80 seconds of single whisker mapping. Each point in a vector reflects the delta power during a single 2 s trial, the power in each 2 s trial is changed from trial to trial and there is no slow drift in the power during the recording time. (A – middle panel) Normalized autocorrelation of the three example vectors in A. (A – right panel) Normalized autocorrelation of the whole population (gray) together with the randomized autocorrelation (cyan). Same scale as the middle panel. (B–F) Same conventions as in A but for different EEG bands (specified above the panels). The data from same three recording traces was used for all example plots.

Fig. S3. Polar plots of spikes-EEG phase relationship during spontaneous firing for all the cells that exhibit non-uniform phase distribution. During spontaneous activity 23% of the cells (21/89) had a non-uniform phase distribution (Omnibus test, P = 0.05). Note that these cells showed weak phase selectivity (PSI, see Methods) and that across the population there is no clear preferred phase.

Fig. S4. Spatial distribution of multi and single whisker cells in the VPM. (A) Multi (gray) and single (black) whisker cells were plotted according to their spatial location with respect to Bregma. (B) The location of the neurons for each group was projected onto the line that connects the two means. We found no significant spatial segregation between the two groups (Kolmogorov–Smirnov, P = 0.086).

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