Estimation of synaptic conductances and their variances from intracellular recordings of neocortical neurons in vivo.

Michael Rudolph, Joe-Guillaume Pelletier, Denis Paré and Alain Destexhe

Neurocomputing 58: 387-392, 2004.

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During intense network activity, neocortical neurons are in a ``high-conductance'' state. To estimate the respective contributions of excitatory and inhibitory conductances in generating such states, we combined computational models with intracellular recordings obtained in cat parietal cortex in vivo. Fitting a fluctuating-conductance model to the recordings revealed that inhibitory conductances are dominant (several times larger than excitation). Conductance variance (i.e., the ``noise'') was also larger for inhibition, indicating that inhibitory dynamics has a pronounced impact on membrane potential fluctuations. We conclude that the synaptic bombardment of neocortical neurons in vivo is not excitatory, but mostly determined by inhibitory conductances.
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