Amplifying and Linearizing Apical Synaptic Inputs to Cortical Pyramidal Cells
Intradendritic electrophysiological recordings reveal a bewildering repertoire of complex electrical spikes and plateaus that are difficult to reconcile with conventional notions of neuronal function. In this paper we argue that such dendritic events are just an exuberant expression of a more important mechanism - a proportional current amplifier whose primary task is to offset electrotonic losses. Using the example of functionally important synaptic inputs to the superficial layers of an anatomically and electrophysiologically reconstructed layer 5 pyramidal neuron, we derive and simulate the properties of conductances that linearize and amplify distal synaptic input current in a graded manner. The amplification depends on a potassium conductance in the apical tuft and calcium conductances in the apical trunk.
© 1994 Morgan Kaufmann. This work was supported by the Office of Naval Research, the National Institute of Mental Health through the Center for Neuroscience, the Medical Research Council of the United Kingdom, and the International Human Frontier Science Program.
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