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Modulatory Projection Neurons

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Encyclopedia of Neuroscience


Projection neurons; modulatory inputs; command neurons


Broadly defined, projection neurons are neurons whose axons extend from the neuronal cell body within the central nervous system (CNS) to one or more distant regions of the CNS. Modulatory projection neurons are the subclass of these neurons which have modulatory (generally synonymous with metabotropic) actions on their target neurons usually in addition to having classical (i.e., ionotropic) actions. Such neurons are likely to be essential to neuronal integration for all sensory, associative and motor systems, but to date they are most extensively studied and understood at the cellular-level in terms of their regulation of rhythmically active motor circuits. To more readily obtain a cellular-level understanding of their function, studies of modulatory projection neurons on these motor circuits are generally performed in the isolated CNS. The value of using the isolated CNS is enhanced by the fact that the...

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Nusbaum, M.P. (2009). Modulatory Projection Neurons. In: Binder, M.D., Hirokawa, N., Windhorst, U. (eds) Encyclopedia of Neuroscience. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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