Temporal aspects of neuronal activity have received increasing attention in recent years. Oscillatory dynamics and the synchronization of neuronal activity are hypothesized to be of functional relevance to information processing in the brain. Here we review theoretical studies of single neurons at different levels of abstraction, with an emphasis on the implications for properties of networks composed of such units. We then discuss the influence of different types of couplings and choices of parameters to the existence of a stable state of synchronous or oscillatory activity. Finally we relate these theoretical studies to the available experimental data, and suggest future lines of research.