Gain modulation from background synaptic input

Frances S. Chance, L. F. Abbott, Alex D. Reyes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Gain modulation is a prominent feature of neuronal activity recorded in behaving animals, but the mechanism by which it occurs is unknown. By introducing a barrage of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic conductances that mimics conditions encountered in vivo into pyramidal neurons in slices of rat somatosensory cortex, we show that the gain of a neuronal response to excitatory drive can be modulated by varying the level of "background" synaptic input. Simultaneously increasing both excitatory and inhibitory background firing rates in a balanced manner results in a divisive gain modulation of the neuronal response without appreciable signal-independent increases in firing rate or spike-train variability. These results suggest that, within active cortical circuits, the overall level of synaptic input to a neuron acts as a gain control signal that modulates responsiveness to excitatory drive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)773-782
Number of pages10
JournalNeuron
Volume35
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 15 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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