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Active properties of neocortical pyramidal neuron dendrites

Major, Guy, Larkurn, Matthew and Schiller, Jackie 2013. Active properties of neocortical pyramidal neuron dendrites. Annual Review of Neuroscience 36 , pp. 1-24. 10.1146/annurev-neuro-062111-150343

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Dendrites are the main recipients of synaptic inputs and are important sites determining neurons input-output functions. This review focuses on thin neocortical dendrites, which receive the vast majority of synaptic inputs in cortex but also have specialized electrogenic properties. We present a simplified working model biophysical scheme of pyramidal neurons that attempts to capture the essence of their dendritic function, including the ability to behave under plausible conditions as dynamic computational sub-units. We emphasize the electrogenic capabilities of NMDA receptors (NMDA-Rs), as these transmitter-gated channels seem to provide the major nonlinear depolarizing drive in thin dendrites, even allowing full-blown NMDA spikes. We show how apparent discrepancies in experimental findings can be reconciled and discuss the current status of dendritic spikes in vivo; a dominant NMDA-R contribution would mean the input-output relations of thin dendrites are dynamically set by network activity, and cannot be fully predicted by purely reductionist approaches.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Publisher: Annual Reviews
ISSN: 0147-006X
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 05:02

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