- Poster presentation
- Open Access
The rectification of an electrical synapse can change the functional output of a pattern-generating circuit
© Gutierrez and Marder; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2013
- Published: 8 July 2013
- Neuronal Circuit
- Synaptic Strength
- Motor Network
- Circuit Output
- Chemical Synapse
Electrical synapses are known to promote synchrony and speed in neuronal systems. However, other studies have found that electrical synapses can have the opposite effect by desynchronizing network neurons. Although they are mechanistically simple, electrical synapses can have unintuitive effects on neuronal network activity. The present study aims to further our understanding of electrical synapses by exploring their rectification in a neuronal circuit model. Rectification is the asymmetrical passage of current through a gap junction between two neurons and it is often likened to a diode in an electrical circuit. Rectifying electrical synapses have been shown to support specialized functions in several biological preparations . We investigate how rectification affects the functional output of a 5-cell, pattern-generating, model network and its sensitivity to synaptic modulation. The circuit is composed of heterogeneous neurons with different intrinsic oscillation frequencies. Neurons were modeled as Morris-Lecar  neurons modified by a hyperpolarization-activated current as in a previous study .
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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.