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J Neurosci Methods. 2006 Dec 15;158(2):287-99. Epub 2006 Jul 18.

StdpC: a modern dynamic clamp.

Author information

1
Institute for Nonlinear Science, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0402, USA. tnowotny@ucsd.edu

Abstract

With the advancement of computer technology many novel uses of dynamic clamp have become possible. We have added new features to our dynamic clamp software StdpC ("Spike timing-dependent plasticity Clamp") allowing such new applications while conserving the ease of use and installation of the popular earlier Dynclamp 2/4 package. Here, we introduce the new features of a waveform generator, freely programmable Hodgkin-Huxley conductances, learning synapses, graphic data displays, and a powerful scripting mechanism and discuss examples of experiments using these features. In the first example we built and 'voltage clamped' a conductance based model cell from a passive resistor-capacitor (RC) circuit using the dynamic clamp software to generate the voltage-dependent currents. In the second example we coupled our new spike generator through a burst detection/burst generation mechanism in a phase-dependent way to a neuron in a central pattern generator and dissected the subtle interaction between neurons, which seems to implement an information transfer through intraburst spike patterns. In the third example, making use of the new plasticity mechanism for simulated synapses, we analyzed the effect of spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) on synchronization revealing considerable enhancement of the entrainment of a post-synaptic neuron by a periodic spike train. These examples illustrate that with modern dynamic clamp software like StdpC, the dynamic clamp has developed beyond the mere introduction of artificial synapses or ionic conductances into neurons to a universal research tool, which might well become a standard instrument of modern electrophysiology.

PMID:
16846647
DOI:
10.1016/j.jneumeth.2006.05.034
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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