Research Article

Organizing Principles for a Diversity of GABAergic Interneurons and Synapses in the Neocortex

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Science  14 Jan 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5451, pp. 273-278
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5451.273

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A puzzling feature of the neocortex is the rich array of inhibitory interneurons. Multiple neuron recordings revealed numerous electrophysiological-anatomical subclasses of neocortical γ-aminobutyric acid–ergic (GABAergic) interneurons and three types of GABAergic synapses. The type of synapse used by each interneuron to influence its neighbors follows three functional organizing principles. These principles suggest that inhibitory synapses could shape the impact of different interneurons according to their specific spatiotemporal patterns of activity and that GABAergic interneuron and synapse diversity may enable combinatorial inhibitory effects in the neocortex.

  • * These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Present address: Keck Center for Integrative Neurosciences, 828-HSE, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143–0732, USA.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: Henry.Markram{at}

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