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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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
Dendritic spines are small protrusions from many types of neuron, which receive most of the excitatory inputs to the cell. Spines are thought to have important roles in neural information processing and plasticity, yet we still have a poor understanding of how they emerge during development. Here, we review the developmental generation of dendritic spines,(More)
We assessed the pathways by which excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters elicit postsynaptic changes in [Ca2+]i in brain slices of developing rat and cat neocortex, using fura 2. Glutamate, NMDA, and quisqualate transiently elevated [Ca2%]i in all neurons. While the quisqualate response relied exclusively on voltage-gated Ca2+ channels, almost all of(More)
The connectivity diagram of neocortical circuits is still unknown, and there are conflicting data as to whether cortical neurons are wired specifically or not. To investigate the basic structure of cortical microcircuits, we use a two-photon photostimulation technique that enables the systematic mapping of synaptic connections with single-cell resolution.(More)