About this item:

334 Views | 46 Downloads

Author Notes:

Correspondence: Dieter Jaeger, Department of Biology, Emory University, 1510 Clifton Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA, 30322; Phone: 404-727-4103; Fax: 404 727 2880; Email: djaeger@emory.edu

Acknowledgments: The authors would like to thank Roberto Fernandez Galan for constructive and insightful feedback during the preparation of the manuscript.


Research Funding:

This project was supported by NINDS Grant R01NS039852 and Udall Center Grant 1P50NS071669.


  • phase response curve (PRC)
  • high conductance state
  • stochastic synaptic background
  • spike time attractor
  • dendrite
  • SK current
  • synchronization
  • oscillation

Robustness, variability, phase dependence, and longevity of individual synaptic input effects on spike timing during fluctuating synaptic backgrounds: A modeling study of globus pallidus neuron phase response properties


Journal Title:



Volume 219


, Pages 92-110

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


A neuron’s phase response curve (PRC) shows how inputs arriving at different times during the spike cycle differentially affect the timing of subsequent spikes. Using a full morphological model of a globus pallidus (GP) neuron, we previously demonstrated that dendritic conductances shape the PRC in a spike frequency dependent manner, suggesting different functional roles of perisomatic and distal dendritic synapses in the control of patterned network activity. In the present study we extend this analysis to examine the impact of physiologically realistic high conductance states on somatic and dendritic PRCs and the time course of spike train perturbations. First, we found that average somatic and dendritic PRCs preserved their shapes and spike frequency dependence when the model was driven by spatially-distributed, stochastic conductance inputs rather than tonic somatic current. However, responses to inputs during specific synaptic backgrounds often deviated substantially from the average PRC. Therefore, we analyzed the interactions of PRC stimuli with transient fluctuations in the synaptic background on a trial-by-trial basis. We found that the variability in responses to PRC stimuli and the incidence of stimulus-evoked added or skipped spikes were stimulus-phase-dependent and reflected the profile of the average PRC, suggesting commonality in the underlying mechanisms. Clear differences in the relation between the phase of input and variability of spike response between dendritic and somatic inputs indicate that theses regions generally represent distinct dynamical subsystems of synaptic integration with respect to influencing the stability of spike time attractors generated by the overall synaptic conductance.

Copyright information:

© 2012 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Creative Commons License

Export to EndNote