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Neural Computation

January 2008, Vol. 20, No. 1, Pages 44-64
(doi: 10.1162/neco.2008.20.1.44)
© 2007 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Irregular Firing of Isolated Cortical Interneurons in Vitro Driven by Intrinsic Stochastic Mechanisms
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Pharmacologically isolated GABAergic irregular spiking and stuttering interneurons in the mouse visual cortex display highly irregular spike times, with high coefficients of variation ≈0.9–3, in response to a depolarizing, constant current input. This is in marked contrast to cortical pyramidal cells, which spike quite regularly in response to the same current injection. We applied time-series analysis methods to show that the irregular behavior of the interneurons was not a consequence of low-dimensional, deterministic processes. These methods were also applied to the Hindmarsh and Rose neuronal model to confirm that the methods are adequate for the types of data under investigation. This result has important consequences for the origin of fluctuations observed in the cortex in vivo.