J. Neurosci.

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Cover Figure


Cover picture: Neuronal integration of synaptic input in the "fluctuation-driven" regime. The amplitude of membrane potential fluctuations (SD; blue, O mV; red, 3.4 mV) of a model neuron receiving different combinations of excitatory (abscissa) and inhibitory (ordinate) synaptic inputs is shown. The display covers the range of inputs resulting in a membrane potential that remains subthreshold in the mean [i.e., between -70 mV (resting potential) and -50 mV (spike threshold)]. In this fluctuation-driven regime, spikes are exclusively generated by voltage transients. Because activated synaptic conductances reduce the input resistance of the neuron, the amplitude of fluctuations decreases for intense inputs, even for constant levels of the mean membrane potential (e.g., -55 mV; dashed line). At the same time, the membrane time constant is reduced, leading to faster membrane potential transients. As a consequence, the output spike rate of the conductance-based model neuron exhibits a nonmonotonic dependency on its input rates. For details, see the article by Kuhn et al. in this issue (pages 2345-2356).


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Copyright 2004 by Society for Neuroscience.