Reverberatory Activity in Neuronal Networks

  • Pak-Ming Lau
  • Guo-Qiang Bi
Part of the Springer Series in Computational Neuroscience book series (NEUROSCI, volume 3)


Reverberatory activity in neuronal cell assemblies has been proposed to carry “online” memory traces in the brain. However, the dynamics and cellular mechanism of such reverberation have been difficult to study because of the enormous complexity of intact circuits. To overcome this difficulty, small networks of interconnected neurons have been grown in culture dishes to provide a model system for studies using patch-clamp recording and fluorescent imaging approaches. In such networks, brief stimulation could elicit rhythmic reverberation that consists of repeating motifs of specific patterns of population activation in the network. Experimental and modeling analysis suggested that the reverberation is driven by recurrent excitation, is sustained by the oft-overlooked asynchronous synaptic transmission modulated by intracellular calcium, and is terminated by a slow component of short-term synaptic depression. More recent data suggest that Hebbian synaptic plasticity could underlie activity-induced emergence of reverberation. Thus, these in vitro networks may serve as prototypic Hebbian cell assemblies for the study of potential mechanisms of information representation and storage in brain circuits.


Hippocampal Neuron Persistent Activity Synaptic Modification Synaptic Dynamic Recurrent Excitation 
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.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurobiologyUniversity of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA

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