Dynamics of cortical dendritic membrane potential and spikes in freely behaving rats

Jason J. Moore, Pascal M. Ravassard, David Ho, Lavanya Acharya, Ashley L. Kees, Cliff Vuong, Mayank R. Mehta
Science. 2017-03-09; 355(6331): eaaj1497
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaj1497

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Moore JJ(1)(2), Ravassard PM(3)(4), Ho D(3)(2), Acharya L(3)(5), Kees AL(3)(2), Vuong C(3)(4), Mehta MR(1)(2)(4)(6).

Author information:
(1)W. M. Keck Center for Neurophysics, Integrative Center for Learning and
Memory, and Brain Research Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, Los
Angeles, CA 90095, USA. .
(2)Neuroscience Interdepartmental Program, University of California, Los Angeles,
Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.
(3)W. M. Keck Center for Neurophysics, Integrative Center for Learning and
Memory, and Brain Research Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, Los
Angeles, CA 90095, USA.
(4)Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles,
Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.
(5)Biomedical Engineering Interdepartmental Program, University of California,
Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.
(6)Departments of Neurology and Neurobiology, University of California, Los
Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.

Neural activity in vivo is primarily measured using extracellular somatic spikes,
which provide limited information about neural computation. Hence, it is
necessary to record from neuronal dendrites, which can generate dendritic action
potentials (DAPs) in vitro, which can profoundly influence neural computation and
plasticity. We measured neocortical sub- and suprathreshold dendritic membrane
potential (DMP) from putative distal-most dendrites using tetrodes in freely
behaving rats over multiple days with a high degree of stability and
submillisecond temporal resolution. DAP firing rates were several-fold larger
than somatic rates. DAP rates were also modulated by subthreshold DMP
fluctuations, which were far larger than DAP amplitude, indicating hybrid,
analog-digital coding in the dendrites. Parietal DAP and DMP exhibited egocentric
spatial maps comparable to pyramidal neurons. These results have important
implications for neural coding and plasticity.

Copyright © 2017, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

DOI: 10.1126/science.aaj1497
PMID: 28280248 [Indexed for MEDLINE]


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