Inhibitory Interneurons Regulate Temporal Precision and Correlations in Cortical Circuits

Trends Neurosci. 2018 Oct;41(10):689-700. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2018.07.015. Epub 2018 Sep 25.


GABAergic interneurons, which are highly diverse, have long been thought to contribute to the timing of neural activity as well as to the generation and shaping of brain rhythms. GABAergic activity is crucial not only for entrainment of oscillatory activity across a neural population, but also for precise regulation of the timing of action potentials and the suppression of slow-timescale correlations. The diversity of inhibition provides the potential for flexible regulation of patterned activity, but also poses a challenge to identifying the elements of excitatory-inhibitory interactions underlying network engagement. This review highlights the key roles of inhibitory interneurons in spike correlations and brain rhythms, describes several scales on which GABAergic inhibition regulates timing in neural networks, and identifies potential consequences of inhibitory dysfunction.

Keywords: VIP; interneuron; oscillation; parvalbumin; somatostatin; synchrony.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Interneurons / physiology*
  • Models, Neurological
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology*
  • Synapses / physiology*