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The effect of spatially inhomogeneous extracellular electric fields on neurons.

Authors
  • Anastassiou, Costas A1
  • Montgomery, Sean M
  • Barahona, Mauricio
  • Buzsáki, György
  • Koch, Christof
  • 1 Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA. [email protected]
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Neuroscience
Publisher
Society for Neuroscience
Publication Date
Feb 03, 2010
Volume
30
Issue
5
Pages
1925–1936
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3635-09.2010
PMID: 20130201
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The cooperative action of neurons and glia generates electrical fields, but their effect on individual neurons via ephaptic interactions is mostly unknown. Here, we analyze the impact of spatially inhomogeneous electric fields on the membrane potential, the induced membrane field, and the induced current source density of one-dimensional cables as well as morphologically realistic neurons and discuss how the features of the extracellular field affect these quantities. We show through simulations that endogenous fields, associated with hippocampal theta and sharp waves, can greatly affect spike timing. These findings imply that local electric fields, generated by the cooperative action of brain cells, can influence the timing of neural activity.

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