Single-Unit Recordings Revisited: Activity in Recurrent Microcircuits

  • Raul C. Mureşan
  • Gordon Pipa
  • Diek W. Wheeler
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3696)


We investigated the relevance of single-unit recordings in the context of dynamical neural systems with recurrent synapses. The present study focuses on modeling a relatively small, biologically-plausible network of neurons. In the absence of any input, the network activity is self-sustained due to the resonating properties of the neurons. Recording of single units reveals an increasingly complex response to stimulation as one proceeds higher into the processing stream hierarchy. Results suggest that classical analysis methods, using rate and averaging over trials, fail to describe the dynamics of the system, and instead hide the relevant information embedded in the complex states of the network. We conclude that single-unit recordings, which are still extensively used in experimental neuroscience, need to be more carefully interpreted.


Firing Rate Subthreshold Oscillation Experimental Neuroscience Classical Analysis Method Multiunit Recording 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raul C. Mureşan
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Gordon Pipa
    • 1
    • 2
  • Diek W. Wheeler
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Frankfurt Institute for Advanced StudiesFrankfurt a.M.Germany
  2. 2.Max Planck Institute for Brain ResearchFrankfurt a.M.Germany
  3. 3.Center for Cognitive and Neural Studies (Coneural)Cluj-NapocaRomania
  4. 4.Technical University of Cluj-NapocaCluj-NapocaRomania

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