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Most excitatory synaptic connections occur on dendritic spines. Calcium imaging experiments have suggested that spines constitute individual calcium compartments, but recent results have challenged this idea. Using two-photon microscopy to image fluorescence with high resolution in strongly scattering tissue, we measured calcium dynamics in spines from CA1(More)
The cerebral cortex receives input from lower brain regions, and its function is traditionally considered to be processing that input through successive stages to reach an appropriate output. However, the cortical circuit contains many interconnections, including those feeding back from higher centres, and is continuously active even in the absence of(More)
The flow of activity in the cortical microcircuitry is poorly understood. We use calcium imaging to reconstruct, with millisecond and single-cell resolution, the spontaneous activity of populations of neurons in unstimulated slices from mouse visual cortex. We find spontaneous activity correlated among networks of layer 5 pyramidal cells. Synchronous(More)
Neuroscience produces a vast amount of data from an enormous diversity of neurons. A neuronal classification system is essential to organize such data and the knowledge that is derived from them. Classification depends on the unequivocal identification of the features that distinguish one type of neuron from another. The problems inherent in this are(More)
How can neural activity propagate through cortical networks built with weak, stochastic synapses? We find precise repetitions of spontaneous patterns of synaptic inputs in neocortical neurons in vivo and in vitro. These patterns repeat after minutes, maintaining millisecond accuracy. Calcium imaging of slices reveals reactivation of sequences of cells(More)
What regulates the spread of activity through cortical circuits? We present here data indicating a pivotal role for a vetoing inhibition restraining modules of pyramidal neurons. We combined fast calcium imaging of network activity with whole-cell recordings to examine epileptiform propagation in mouse neocortical slices. Epileptiform activity was induced(More)
Dendritic spines receive most excitatory inputs in the CNS and compartmentalize calcium. Although the mechanisms of calcium influx into spines have been explored, it is unknown what determines the calcium decay kinetics in spines. With two-photon microscopy we investigate action potential-induced calcium dynamics in spines from rat CA1 pyramidal neurons in(More)
Dendritic spines are morphological specializations that receive synaptic inputs and compartmentalize calcium. In spite of a long history of research, the specific function of spines is still not well understood. Here we review the current status of the relation between morphological changes in spines and synaptic plasticity. Since Cajal and Tanzi proposed(More)
It is more than a hundred years since dendritic spines were first described 1 , yet their function is still unclear. As spines mediate most excitatory connections in the central nervous system (CNS), they must be key elements in neuronal circuitry, and speculation about their function has encompassed roles as connecting devices as well as biochemical or(More)
A low molecular weight intracellular tracer, Neurobiotin, was injected into single neurons in living slices of rat neocortex made at postnatal days 5-18. Between days 5 and 12, 66% of single-neuron injections labeled clusters of up to 80 neurons surrounding the injected cell. Coupling between neurons occurred primarily through dendrites. Injections done in(More)