The effect of dendritic topology on firing patterns in model neurons

Network. 2002 Aug;13(3):311-25. doi: 10.1088/0954-898x/13/3/304.


Neuronal firing patterns are influenced by both membrane properties and dendritic morphology. Distinguishing two sources of morphological variability-metrics and topology-we investigate the extent to which model neurons that have the same metrical and membrane properties can still produce different firing patterns as a result of differences in dendritic topology. Within a set of dendritic trees that have the same number of terminal segments and the same total dendritic length, we show that firing frequency strongly correlates with topology as expressed by the mean dendritic path length. The effect of dendritic topology on firing frequency is bigger for trees with equal segment diameters than for trees whose segment diameters obey Rall's 3/2 power law. If active dendritic channels are present, dendritic topology influences not only firing frequency but also type of firing (regular, bursting).

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dendrites / physiology*
  • Dendrites / ultrastructure
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology*