Special NE speaker: Fernando Fernandez
Special Neural Engineering speaker: Thursday 19th at 1PM in Steinman 402.
Modulation of neuronal output by membrane voltage fluctuations
Abstract: The membrane voltage of neurons in vivo is dominated by noisy “background” fluctuations generated by network-based synaptic activity from nearby cells. It has been speculated that membrane voltage fluctuations in neurons play an important role in scaling the relationship between input amplitude and spike rate response. For this to be true, neuronal spike input-output behavior must be sensitive to physiological membrane voltage fluctuations. Using a combination of single cell recordings and modeling, we investigated the mechanisms through which voltage fluctuations modulate neuronal input-output responses. We find that neurons that express an increase in membrane input resistance with depolarization show low levels of noise-mediated modulation of input-output responses due, in part, to voltage trajectories that suppress the likelihood of generating a spike in response to random current input fluctuations. Hence, non-linear membrane properties arising from certain types of voltage-gated conductances limit noise-based modulation of neuronal input-output responses.