Persistent neural activity: prevalence and mechanisms

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2004 Dec;14(6):675-84. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2004.10.017.


Persistent neural activity refers to a sustained change in action potential discharge that long outlasts a stimulus. It is found in a diverse set of brain regions and organisms and several in vitro systems, suggesting that it can be considered a universal form of circuit dynamics that can be used as a mechanism for short-term storage and accumulation of sensory or motor information. Both single cell and network mechanisms are likely to co-operate in generating persistent activity in many brain areas.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Central Nervous System / physiology*
  • Feedback / physiology
  • Humans
  • Models, Animal
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Neural Pathways / physiology*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology