PerspectiveNeuroscience

Time Is Precious

Science  23 Apr 2004:
Vol. 304, Issue 5670, pp. 523-524
DOI: 10.1126/science.1097725

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Summary

Synaptic neurotransmission is relatively weak, so it is a puzzle how neurons are able to encode complicated pieces of information and then pass this information on to neighboring neurons. In his Perspective, Abeles explores the results of a new study ( Ikegaya et al.) that detects patterns of spontaneous neuronal activity repeated with millisecond precision in cortical brain slices. The results suggest that these patterns represent activity in "synfire" chains, which enable neurons to accurately encode information and transfer it efficiently to their neighbors.

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