Dendritic Dynamic Clamp – A Tool to Study Single Neuron Computation

  • Stephen R. Williams
Part of the Springer Series in Computational Neuroscience book series (NEUROSCI, volume 1)


Central neurons receive the majority of synaptic input at dendritic sites. Classical models of neuronal function suggest that dendrites simply funnel synaptic input to the site of action potential initiation in the axon. Direct dendritic whole-cell recording techniques have however demonstrated that dendrites are electrically excitable. Recently, the dynamic clamp has been used to simulate synaptic activity at determined dendritic sites in neurons, to explore the constraints of the dendrosomatic spread of synaptic potentials and to examine the properties of local dendritic synaptic integration. Here, I describe the implementation of the dendritic dynamic-clamp technique and review the results of recent experiments using the dendritic dynamic clamp to explore the properties of synaptic integration in the dendrites of cortical pyramidal neurons.


Dendritic Tree Axon Initial Segment Action Potential Firing Synaptic Potential Cortical Pyramidal Neuron 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I am very grateful to Greg Stuart for introducing me to the field of dendritic physiology. The author’s work is supported by the Medical Research Council (UK).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Neurobiology Division, Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular BiologyCambridge CB2 0QHUK

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