We present a biophysical approach for the coupling of neural network activity as resulting from proper dipole currents of cortical pyramidal neurons to the electric field in extracellular fluid. Starting from a reduced three-compartment model of a single pyramidal neuron, we derive an observation model for dendritic dipole currents in extracellular space and thereby for the dendritic field potential (DFP) that contributes to the local field potential (LFP) of a neural population. This work aligns and satisfies the widespread dipole assumption that is motivated by the "open-field" configuration of the DFP around cortical pyramidal cells. Our reduced three-compartment scheme allows to derive networks of leaky integrate-and-fire (LIF) models, which facilitates comparison with existing neural network and observation models. In particular, by means of numerical simulations we compare our approach with an ad hoc model by Mazzoni et al. (2008), and conclude that our biophysically motivated approach yields substantial improvement.
Keywords: biophysics; current dipoles; extracellular medium; field potentials; leaky integrate-and-fire neuron; neural networks.