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Timing of Neural Responses in Cortical Organotypic Slices

Dean V. Buonomano
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 100, No. 8 (Apr. 15, 2003), pp. 4897-4902
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3144038
Page Count: 6
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Timing of Neural Responses in Cortical Organotypic Slices
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Abstract

Timing is a fundamental part of sensory and motor processing. However, little is known about the neural mechanisms underlying timing in the range of tens to hundreds of milliseconds. Although many theoretical hypotheses have been put forth on the possible underpinnings of temporal processing, there is little cellular experimental data, particularly in vitro, as to the neural mechanisms that could potentially function as timers. We use organotypic cortical slices to show that reliably timed action potentials (or excitatory postsynaptic potentials) can be observed up to 300 ms after a single stimulus. There was no relationship between the latency of the late responses and distance from the stimulating electrode. Paired recordings and pharmacological manipulations suggest that the timed late responses are the result of the propagation of activity throughout functionally defined networks. These results show that cortical networks may be intrinsically able to process temporal information.

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