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Article
Nature Neuroscience  4, 63 - 71 (2001)
doi:10.1038/82910

Dendritic coincidence detection of EPSPs and action potentials

Greg J. Stuart1 & Michael Häusser2

1  Division of Neuroscience, John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia

2  Department of Physiology, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK

Correspondence should be addressed to Greg J. Stuart greg.stuart@anu.edu.au
We describe a mechanism for coincidence detection mediated by the interaction between backpropagating action potentials and EPSPs in neocortical pyramidal neurons. At distal dendritic locations, appropriately timed EPSPs or oscillations could increase the amplitude of backpropagating action potentials by three- to fourfold. This amplification was greatest when action potentials occurred at the peak of EPSPs or dendritic oscillations and could lead to somatic burst firing. The increase in amplitude required sodium channel activation but not potassium channel inactivation. The temporal characteristics of this amplification are similar to those required for changes in synaptic strength, suggesting that this mechanism may be involved in the induction of synaptic plasticity.

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Nature Neuroscience
ISSN: 1097-6256
EISSN: 1546-1726
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