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Neural Netw. 2004 Jun-Jul;17(5-6):633-46.

Electrophysiological classes of neocortical neurons.

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  • 1Department of Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 215 Stemmler Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6074, USA.


Neocortical network behavior and neocortical function emerge from synaptic interactions among neurons with specific electrophysiological and morphological characteristics. The intrinsic electrophysiological properties of neurons define their firing patterns and their input-output functions with critical consequences for their functional properties within the network. Understanding the role played by the active non-linear properties caused by ionic conductances distributed in the soma and the dendrites is a critical step towards understanding cortical function. Here I present a brief description of electrophysiological and morphological characteristics of neocortical cells that allow their classification in categories. I review some examples of differences in functional properties among different electrophysiological cell classes in the visual cortex, as well as the role played by specific ionic conductances in defining firing and accommodation properties of neocortical neurons.

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