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bursting neuron VS single spike neuron

r norman rsn_ at _comcast.net
Sat Jan 10 09:27:34 EST 2004

On Thu, 08 Jan 2004 16:12:39 +0000, Xiaoshen Li <xli6 at gmu.edu> wrote:

>Hi, Everyone:
>I remember that some neurons intend to fire a train of action 
>potentials(APs) when receiving stimulus while some neurons intend to 
>fire just one AP. Could anybody give me more information for the two 
>groups of neuron? How and why they behave differently?
>Thank you very much.
>Best Regards,
>Xiaoshen Li

It is true that many neurons do produce "bursty" patterns of activity
and some even can switch between single action potentials or trains at
relatively constant frequency and bursting activity.  However, there
is no clean dichotomy of bursting vs non-bursting cels and there are
many different mechanisms that can produce burstiness.  Some involve
special membrane mechanisms, others involve reciprocal connections
between groups of cells.

Most neurobiology boks have references to "burst" or "central pattern
generators" in the index.  Although bursting neurons can be found in
many places, most of the work involves systems that produce rhythmic
motor activity -- walking, swimming, flying or complex patterns of
gastric mill activity produced by the crustacean stomatogastric

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