Rhythmogenic effects of weak electrotonic coupling in neuronal models

A. Sherman, J. Rinzel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Strong gap-junctional coupling can synchronize the electrical oscillations of cells, but we show, in a theoretical model, that weak coupling can phase lock two cells 180° out-of-phase. Antiphase oscillations can exist in parameter regimes where in-phase oscillations break down. Some consequences are (i) coupling two excitable cells leads to pacemaking, (ii) coupling two pacemaker cells leads to bursting, and (iii) coupling two bursters increases burst period. The latter shows that details of the fast spikes can affect macroscopic properties of the slow bursts. These effects hold in other models for bursting and may play a role in the collective behavior of cellular ensembles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2471-2474
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1992


  • Bursting oscillations
  • Coupled oscillators
  • Gap junctions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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