The Role of the Electrophysiological Properties of Neurons in the Mechanisms Grouping Their Discharges in the Cerebral Cortex


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Abstract

Studies using intracellular recording in living slices of rat sensorimotor cortex addressed the interaction between the properties of neuron spike activity (n = 80) and the membrane potentials of the neurons. Spike sequences containing discharges with regularly increasing and decreasing interspike intervals were analyzed. Parameters were identified which were closely associated with the mean neuron discharge frequency: the number of spikes in sequences (5–30% of the total number of spikes recorded), the amplitude of oscillations in the afterhyperpolarization potential (0–1.5 mV), etc. There was a biphasic relationship in changes in the number of spikes in sequences with a critical mean discharge frequency over the range 5–7 Hz. Groups of cells without and with a depolarization component in conditions of afterhyperpolarization had different morphological and electrophysiological properties, though the relationships between their parameter and mean discharge frequency were similar. The possible roles of spike sequences and these regular features in the formation of rhythmic processes in the neocortex are discussed.

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