Encyclopedia of Computational Neuroscience

2015 Edition
| Editors: Dieter Jaeger, Ranu Jung

Action Potential Backpropagation

  • Sonia GaspariniEmail author
  • Michele Migliore
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6675-8_123



Action potential (AP) backpropagation, as opposed to forward propagation along the axon, consists of the active conduction along the neuronal dendrites of the depolarization produced by the initiation of an axonal AP. The amplitude of the depolarization generally decreases along the dendrites with increasing distance from the soma; the degree of attenuation is highly variable depending on the neuronal type.

Detailed Description

Simultaneous recordings from dendrites, soma, and axon have shown that action potentials are typically generated in the region with the lowest threshold for AP initiation, the axon initial segment (Stuart et al. 1997). In addition to the canonical forward propagation along the axon to the presynaptic terminals, APs rapidly invade the soma and propagate back into the dendrites, where voltage-dependent channels actively support the depolarization. As opposed to axonal action...
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Further Reading

  1. Davie JT, Kole MH, Letzkus JJ, Rancz EA, Spruston N, Stuart GJ, Häusser M (2006) Dendritic patch-clamp recording. Nat Protoc 1:1235–1247PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Spruston N, Häusser M, Stuart G (2013) Information processing in dendrites and spines. In: Squire LR et al (eds) Fundamental Neuroscience, 4th edn. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 231–260Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Neuroscience CenterLSUHSCNew OrleansUSA
  2. 2.Department of NeurobiologyYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  3. 3.Institute of BiophysicsNational Research CouncilPalermoItaly