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Rhythms of the Brain$
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György Buzsáki

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195301069

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195301069.001.0001

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Diversity of Cortical Functions Is Provided by Inhibition

Diversity of Cortical Functions Is Provided by Inhibition

(p.61) Cycle 3 Diversity of Cortical Functions Is Provided by Inhibition
Rhythms of the Brain

Buzsáki György

Oxford University Press

In addition to principal cells, the cerebral cortex contains diverse classes of interneurons that selectively and discriminately innervate various parts of principal cells and each other. The hypothesized “goal” of the daunting connectionist schemes of interneurons is to provide maximum functional complexity. Without inhibition and dedicated interneurons, excitatory circuits cannot accomplish anything useful. Interneurons provide autonomy and independence to neighboring principal cells but at the same time also offer useful temporal coordination. The functional diversity of principal cells is enhanced by the domain-specific actions of GABAergic interneurons, which can dynamically alter the qualities of the principal cells. The balance between excitation and inhibition is often accomplished by oscillations. Connections among interneurons, including electrical gap junctions, are especially suitable for maintaining clocking actions. Thus, the cerebral cortex is not only a complex system with complicated interactions among identical constituents but also has developed a diverse system of components.

Keywords:   nonlinearity, segregation of function, cell assembly, self organization, feed-forward inhibition, feed-back inhibition, phase transition, interneuron diversity, GABA

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