Cortical up and activated states: implications for sensory information processing

Neuroscientist. 2009 Dec;15(6):625-34. doi: 10.1177/1073858409333074.


The neocortex generates spontaneous slow oscillations that consist of up and down states during quiescence. Up states are short epochs of persistent activity that resemble the state of cortical activation during arousal and cognition. The excitability of cortical cells and synaptic networks is impacted by up states. This review describes the characteristics and putative functional role of up states and their similarity with activated states.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Arousal / physiology*
  • Biological Clocks / physiology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Nerve Net / anatomy & histology
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Sensation / physiology*
  • Sensory Receptor Cells / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology
  • Thalamus / physiology