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Neural Computation

August 2008, Vol. 20, No. 8, Pages 2070-2084
(doi: 10.1162/neco.2008.06-07-537)
© 2008 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Dynamic Moment Analysis of the Extracellular Electric Field of a Biologically Realistic Spiking Neuron
Article PDF (1.04 MB)

Based on the membrane currents generated by an action potential in a biologically realistic model of a pyramidal, hippocampal cell within rat CA1, we perform a moment expansion of the extracellular field potential. We decompose the potential into both inverse and classical moments and show that this method is a rapid and efficient way to calculate the extracellular field both near and far from the cell body. The action potential gives rise to a large quadrupole moment that contributes to the extracellular field up to distances of almost 1 cm. This method will serve as a starting point in connecting the microscopic generation of electric fields at the level of neurons to macroscopic observables such as the local field potential.