Title: Cable properties of cortical neurons: theory and experiment
Speaker: Professor N. Spruston
Speaker Info: Northwestern U.
Special Note: http://www.nwu.edu/neurobiology/Spruston/
Nerve cells are typified by a plexus of elaborately branching processes called dendrites. Because of their long length relative to their small diameter, dendrites behave like conducting cables, insulated from the conductive extracellular space by a cell membrane. The cell membrane consists of a phospholipid bilayer, imparting capacitance, that is perforated by conductive proteins called ion channels, imparting resistance. Mathematically, dendrites can be modeled as leaky cables surrounded by a conductive medium. The electrical properties of these cables are determined by the resistivity of the cytoplasm, as well as the resistive and capacitive properties of the cell membrane. I will present a brief outline of neuronal cable theory, followed by a description of experimental results that allow us to estimate the value of the intracellular resistivity and membrane resisitivity. The results suggest that the membrane properties of dendrites are not uniform, but change systematically along their length.Date: Friday, October 23, 1998