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Understanding how the brain determines coincidence

21 February 2011


Normalised Spike Probability ion.ucl.ac.uk/" target="_self">UCL Institute of Neurology
  • Orginal article (may require subscription)
  • Neurons in the brain are bombarded by incoming signals, and one of the challenges facing neuroscience research is to understand how the brain sorts this information.

    One mechanism is to determine which inputs are coincident (ie arrive at the same time) and therefore presumably generated by the same or closely associated processes. In order to achieve this, the brain needs to be able to analyse inputs with millisecond precision.

    Ivan Pavlov and colleagues at UCL Institute of Neurology have shown in work published  in Nature Communications (Nat. Commun. 2 : 199 doi:10.1038/ncomms1202 (2011)) that this precision is critically dependent upon the presence of a particular ion channel, which determines the way in which inhibition alters the voltage of neurons. Importantly, certain diseases such as epilepsy can interfere with this process, possibly leading to a disruption of cognitive function.

    Reference (this may require subscription)

    Nature Communications.  2 : 199 doi:10.1038/ncomms1202 

    Ih-mediated depolarization enhances the temporal precision of neuronal integration
    Ivan Pavlov, Annalisa Scimemi, Leonid Savtchenko, Dimitri M. Kullmann, & Matthew C. Walker