Dynamic-Clamp pp 275-285 | Cite as

Using the Dynamic Clamp to Explore the Relationship Between Intrinsic Activity and Network Dynamics

  • Anne-Elise TobinEmail author
  • Rachel Grashow
  • Lamont S. Tang
  • Stefan R. Pulver
  • Eve Marder
Part of the Springer Series in Computational Neuroscience book series (NEUROSCI, volume 1)


Our goal is to understand how neural network dynamics depend on the properties of the component neurons and their synaptic connections. To that end, we propose a novel method using the dynamic clamp to evaluate the intrinsic properties of isolated neurons that replaces conventional methods such as measuring input impedance. Secondly, we construct novel circuits using the dynamic clamp by electrically coupling pairs of pacemakers of rhythmically active pyloric networks from stomatogastric ganglia. We determine whether we can synchronize pacemakers with different intrinsic frequencies and how the coupled network frequency depends on the frequencies of the isolated pacemaker kernels.



This work was supported by NIH NS059255 (AET), NIH NS581102 (RGG), and NIH 46742 (EM).


  1. Bal T and McCormick DA. Mechanisms of oscillatory activity in guinea-pig nucleus reticularis thalami in vitro: a mammalian pacemaker. J Physiol 468: 669–691, 1993.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Buchanan JT. Lamprey spinal interneurons and their roles in swimming activity. Brain Behav Evol 48: 287–296, 1996.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Del Negro CA, Pace RW, and Hayes JA. What role do pacemakers play in the generation of respiratory rhythm? Adv Exp Med Biol 605: 88–93, 2008.Google Scholar
  4. Jalife J. Mutual entrainment and electrical coupling as mechanisms for synchronous firing of rabbit sino-atrial pace-maker cells. J Physiol 356: 221–243, 1984.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Kristan JWB, Calabrese RL, and Friesen WO. Neuronal control of leech behavior. Prog Neurobiol 76: 279, 2005.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Marder E and Goaillard JM. Variability, compensation and homeostasis in neuron and network function. Nat Rev Neurosci 7: 563–574, 2006.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Masino MA and Calabrese RL. Period differences between segmental oscillators produce intersegmental phase differences in the leech heartbeat timing network. J Neurophysiol 87: 1603–1615, 2002.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Matsushima T and Grillner S. Neural mechanisms of intersegmental coordination in lamprey: local excitability changes modify the phase coupling along the spinal cord. J Neurophysiol 67: 373–388, 1992.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Mulloney B. A test of the excitability-gradient hypothesis in the Swimmeret system of crayfish. J Neurosci 17: 1860–1868, 1997.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Murchison D, Chrachri A, and Mulloney B. A separate local pattern-generating circuit controls the movements of each swimmeret in crayfish. J Neurophysiol 70: 2620–2631, 1993.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Pena F. Contribution of pacemaker neurons to respiratory rhythms generation in vitro. Adv Exp Med Biol 605: 114–118, 2008.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Prinz AA, Billimoria CP, and Marder E. Alternative to hand-tuning conductance-based models: construction and analysis of databases of model neurons. J Neurophysiol 90: 3998–4015, 2003a.Google Scholar
  13. Prinz AA, Thirumalai V, and Marder E. The functional consequences of changes in the strength and duration of synaptic inputs to oscillatory neurons. J Neurosci 23: 943–954, 2003b.Google Scholar
  14. Roberts A, Soffe SR, Wolf ES, Yoshida M, and Zhao FY. Central circuits controlling locomotion in young frog tadpoles. Ann N Y Acad Sci 860: 19–34, 1998.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Schulz DJ, Goaillard JM, and Marder E. Variable channel expression in identified single and electrically coupled neurons in different animals. Nat Neurosci 9: 356–362, 2006.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Sharp AA, O'Neil MB, Abbott LF, and Marder E. The dynamic clamp: artificial conductances in biological neurons. Trends Neurosci 16: 389, 1993a.Google Scholar
  17. Sharp AA, O'Neil MB, Abbott LF, and Marder E. Dynamic clamp: computer-generated conductances in real neurons. J Neurophysiol 69: 992–995, 1993b.Google Scholar
  18. Strogatz SH. Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1994.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne-Elise Tobin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rachel Grashow
  • Lamont S. Tang
  • Stefan R. Pulver
  • Eve Marder
  1. 1.Volen Center and Biology DepartmentBrandeis UniversityWalthamUSA

Personalised recommendations