Electrical synapses define networks of neocortical GABAergic neurons

Trends Neurosci. 2005 Jun;28(6):304-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2005.04.001.


Recent work using paired recording has provided a direct demonstration of functional electrical synapses between neocortical neurons of both juvenile and adult animals. Electrical synapses have been found among GABAergic interneurons but not pyramidal cells. Interestingly, necortical electrical synapses almost exclusively connect GABAergic neurons belonging to the same class. So far, at least five different neocortical networks defined by extensive and selective electrical coupling have been studied in the neocortex. These results could provide important clues to the understanding of functional cortical circuitry.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gap Junctions / physiology
  • Neocortex / cytology*
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology
  • Neural Networks, Computer
  • Neurons / classification
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Synapses / classification
  • Synapses / physiology*
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / metabolism*


  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid