[Neuroscience] Re: Backpropagation in biological neurons

r norman via neur-sci%40net.bio.net (by r_s_norman from _comcast.net)
Sat Jul 26 09:23:01 EST 2008

On Sat, 26 Jul 2008 09:06:58 -0500, "Fredo" <fredo from hotmail.com> wrote:

>I've been reading a bit about neurophysiology and neurobiology. A number of 
>texts refer to backpropagation in real neurons, where the signal 
>backpropagates, though significantly attenuated, up the dendrites.
>I can't seem to find out much detail on the matter, beyond the fact that it 
>exists. In particular, what is the significance? The backpropagation might 
>affect gap junction-connected neurons, but it can't back-propagate through 
>synapses, can it? If it can, what's the mechanism? Surely not 
>neurotransmitter release in the dendrites...

Yes, most surely neurotransmitter release in the dendrites.  There are
an enormous number of dendro-dendritic synapses.  There are an
enormous number of "local" neurons with no axon or with very short
axons where the local propagation of potentials does all the work.
There are an enormous number of "microcircuits", closely interacting
groups of synapses working as a unit within the dendritic field. There
are reciprocal synapses :  A synapses on B and B synapses back on A
right next door.  There are serial synapses:  A on B and B on C, all
in the same microciruit area.

G. Shepherd, "The Synaptic Organization  of the Brain" is a good

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