Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Neuroscience

pp 842-843

Conditional Burster


A neuron that can generate rhythmic bursting activity in response to an excitatory input, but can only do so under the influence of a specific neuromodulator. Neurons with endogenous bursting properties have a set of voltage-gated ion channels that enable them to produce oscillations of the membrane potential (i.e. alternating depolarizations and hyperpolarizations), which can drive bursts of action potentials.

However, in conditional bursters whilst these ion channels are present, they can not be activated sufficiently to generate membrane potential oscillations. The appropriate neuromodulator can enhance the function of these voltage-gated ion channels, so that they are able to respond with oscillations of the membrane potential in response to a prolonged excitatory drive.

Central Pattern Generator

Endogenous Burster

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