High Resolution Intracellular Recordings?

r norman rsn_ at _comcast.net
Fri Sep 5 07:03:09 EST 2003

On Fri, 05 Sep 2003 14:46:53 +1000, Matthew Kirkcaldie
<Matthew.Kirkcaldie at newcastle.edu.au> wrote:

>In article <eocelvo87mlu3l8b2pqpmjjh7c0ugm164v at 4ax.com>,
> r norman <rsn_ at _comcast.net> wrote:
>> You may have in mind a model of synaptic integration that works like a
>> logic equation:
>>   Fire an action potential IF (A AND B) OR (C AND D AND E) BUT NOT (F)
>> or something of the kind but with hundreds of terms.  You want to see
>> the data with enough resolution to work out each individual term.  It
>> doesn't work that way. 
>Amen - I think this was perhaps the single biggest shock I had when 
>moving from computer science to neuroscience!
>Your response sounds as if it came from a much more informed position 
>than mine - thanks for adding it.
>The lowpass filtering reminds me of something else - the networks of 
>electrotonic gap junctions acting as low pass membrane potential 
>couplings between the inhibitory cells of the cortex.  These have been 
>demonstrated and described in adult cortex over the last five years or 
>so,  Why haven't more people been more excited about them?

I made the jump from math and computers to neurophysiology some 40
years ago.  Yes, it was a very big uprooting! The complexity of
neurobiology is mind-boggling.  And the cellular mechanisms just get
more and more complex every year.

People may not be so excited by electrotonic coupling (with added
low-pass filtering in the connection) because they, too, have been
around for 40 years or so.  They have been known in invertebrates for
a very long time and are a well established mechanism to generally
synchronize activity in populations of cells -- the coupling allows
them to increase and decrease in overall excitability simultaneously.

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