Space-Clamp Problems When Voltage Clamping Branched Neurons With Intracellular Microelectrodes

  • Wilfrid Rall
  • Idan Segev


The dendritic surface area of a neuron may be 10, 20, or even 100 times greater than the surface area of the neuron soma. This dendritic membrane provides a large distributed capacity that is electrically coupled to the soma by various cable distances along the branched core conductor. When a voltage clamp is applied across the soma membrane, the dendritic membrane is neither space clamped nor voltage clamped, except for the special case of very short dendritic trees.


Synaptic Input Voltage Clamp Impulse Response Function Dendritic Tree Synaptic Current 
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Copyright information

© American Physiological Society 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wilfrid Rall
    • 1
  • Idan Segev
    • 1
  1. 1.Mathematical Research BranchNational Institute of Arthritis, Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney DiseasesBethesdaUSA

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