spreading of action potentials

Dave Beeman dbeeman at dogstar.Colorado.edu
Fri Oct 21 11:31:00 EST 1994

In article <Cxnpuz.5uv at brunel.ac.uk>, hssrkng at brunel.ac.uk (Kevin N Gurney) writes:
|> I am *not* a neuroscientist so I apologise if my questions appears
|> naieve.
|> I have recently started to investigate the dynamics of action-potential
|> production and have used the 'Neurokit' script-set in the Genesis
|> simulator to help my understanding. The most significant thing I
|> noticed was that the action potential, as well as propagating along the
|> axon, also propagates over the soma and dendritic tree. In the latter
|> case I presume this is done electrotonically. There appears to be no
|> mention of this kind of propagation in the usual text - One gets the
|> idea that action potential spikes propagate along axons alone.
|> My first question is: 
|> Is this behaviour an artifact of the simulator or is it `real'?

To gain some further understanding of the role of action potential
propagation in dendrites, you might try the "traub91" tutorial simulation
which comes with the GENESIS simulator.  It explores the behavior of the
Traub et al. CA3 pyramidal cell model (Journal of Neurophysiology, Vol. 66,
p.  635 (1991)).  The bursting behavior depends on the propagation of action
potentials from the soma to the dendrites, where voltage-activated calcium
channels are activated.

Dave Beeman

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