Intracellular Study of Recurrent Facilitation

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Science  04 Aug 1961:
Vol. 134, Issue 3475, pp. 337-338
DOI: 10.1126/science.134.3475.337


Recurrent facilitation in the cat's spinal cord has been studied in deep peroneal and quadriceps motoneurons with the use of intracellular recording. The presence of facilitation was indicated by several criteria, among them increased firing index of the cells or decreased latency of firing. In many, but not all, facilitated cells the conditioning volley caused a small visible depolarization. Subthreshold synaptic potentials were frequently increased in magnitude by the conditioning volley, which also increased the effectiveness of a stimulus applied through the microelectrode. Facilitation was found in a large percentage of the motoneurons investigated and was clearly able to bring about pronounced changes in the excitability and firing behavior of these cells.