Contributions of Extracellular Potassium Increases to Transient Field Potentials (Review of Data)

  • Ulla Mitzdorf
Part of the Brain Dynamics book series (BD)


When likely causes of evoked potentials or other field potentials (FPs) are discussed, it is important to mention that—besides neural membrane currents—potassium homeostasis mechanisms also may have contributed. These mechanisms were studied intensively in the 1970s by applying train stimuli and recording the evoked slow potentials (SPs) and extracellular rises in potassium (ΔKe +). Since these two parameters have similar time courses and often have similar spatial distributions, several investigators concluded that ΔKe + is the dominant cause of these SPs. The mechanism involved has been assumed to be the spatial buffering of excess Ke + via glial cells; it produces an instantaneous negative FP at the site of elevated The Na+/K+ pump mechanism, which starts rather slowly, may also contribute to the FP, but in the opposite direction (Dietzel et al., 1989; Gardner-Medwin, 1983b; Grafe and Ballanyi, 1987; Somjen, 1979; Syková, 1983; Walz and Hertz, 1983).


Neural Activity Field Potential Extracellular Potassium Slow Potential Paroxysmal Activity 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

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  • Ulla Mitzdorf

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