Dendrites of pyramidal neurons integrate multiple synaptic inputs and transform them into axonal action potential output. This fundamental process is controlled by a variety of dendritic channels. The properties of dendritic ion channels are not static but can be modified by neuronal activity. Activity-dependent changes in the density, localization, or biophysical properties of dendritic voltage-gated channels can persistently alter the integration of synaptic inputs. Furthermore, dendritic intrinsic plasticity can induce neuronal output mode transitions (e.g. from regular spiking to burst firing). Recent advances in the field reviewed here represent an important step toward uncovering the principles of neuronal input/output transformations in response to various patterns of brain activity.
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