Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Computational Neuroscience

pp 1-4

Date: Latest Version

Dynamic Clamp Technique

  • Thomas NowotnyAffiliated withCentre for Computational Neuroscience and Robotics, School of Engineering and Informatics, University of Sussex Email author 
  • , Pablo VaronaAffiliated withDepartamento de Ingenieria Informatica, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid


Dynamic clamp is an electrophysiological technique for introducing simulated electrical components into biological cells using a real-time closed loop between the cell and a computer or another electronic device. Classic dynamic clamp protocols build a voltage-dependent current injection cycle to implement artificial membrane or synaptic conductances in the cell membrane of biological neurons. These protocols are employed to assess a large variety of neuronal computational properties and are widely applied for studying the physiology of neural systems at the cellular and circuit levels.

Detailed Description


The use of closed-loop feedback interactions with living neurons for observation and control purposes goes back to the beginnings of electrophysiology when the voltage clamp technique was developed (Marmont 1949; Cole 1955). The voltage clamp technique measures currents across the membrane of excitable cells while holding the membrane potential at a constant level. In ...

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