Intrinsic Electrophysiological Properties of Brainstem Neurons and Their Relationship to Behavioral Control

  • Mircea Steriade
  • Robert W. McCarley


The properties of neuronal circuits controlling behavior are determined not only by their anatomic connectivity but also by the intrinsic properties of the constituent neurons, including voltage- and transmitter-sensitive membrane currents. Historically there has been relatively little “cross talk” between physiologists interested in analysis of behavior from a macropotential or even cellular perspective in the behaving mammal and those physiologists exploring cellular properties in in vitro preparations, including slices and dissociated neuronal cultures. One of the purposes of our book is to facilitate and promote information transfer between these still largely separate domains of work by emphasizing areas of potential and demonstrated commonality of interest. We believe the future course of brainstem investigation will be toward increasing joint use of both techniques to understand mechanisms of behavior.


Current Pulse Locus Coeruleus Firing Pattern Thalamic Neuron Locus Coeruleus Neuron 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mircea Steriade
    • 1
  • Robert W. McCarley
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculté de MédecineUniversité LavalCanada
  2. 2.Veterans Administration Medical CenterHarvard Medical SchoolBrocktonUSA

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