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Neural Computation

July 2017, Vol. 29, No. 7, Pages 1745-1768
(doi: 10.1162/NECO_a_00975)
© 2017 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Extraction of Synaptic Input Properties
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Knowledge of synaptic input is crucial for understanding synaptic integration and ultimately neural function. However, in vivo, the rates at which synaptic inputs arrive are high, so that it is typically impossible to detect single events. We show here that it is nevertheless possible to extract the properties of the events and, in particular, to extract the event rate, the synaptic time constants, and the properties of the event size distribution from in vivo voltage-clamp recordings. Applied to cerebellar interneurons, our method reveals that the synaptic input rate increases from 600 Hz during rest to 1000 Hz during locomotion, while the amplitude and shape of the synaptic events are unaffected by this state change. This method thus complements existing methods to measure neural function in vivo.