Discriminating Dendrites

Science Signaling  28 Sep 2010:
Vol. 3, Issue 141, pp. ec302
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.3141ec302

Can dendrites read out spatiotemporal input sequences? Combining two-photon glutamate uncaging and two-photon calcium imaging, electrophysiology, and computational modeling, Branco et al. (see the Perspective by Destexhe) discovered that single dendrites were indeed sensitive to both the direction and velocity of synaptic inputs. This direction and velocity sensitivity was measurable with only a few inputs and should thus be engaged frequently during normal brain function.

T. Branco, B. A. Clark, M. Häusser, Dendritic discrimination of temporal input sequences in cortical neurons. Science 329, 1671–1675 (2010). [Abstract] [Full Text]

A. Destexhe, Dendrites do it in sequences. Science 329, 1611–1612 (2010). [Summary] [Full Text]