Thirty Years Among Cortical Neurons
This chapter begins a discussion of the concept of diversity as a key attribute of cortical neurons, and the importance of understanding interactions that occur among molecular-, cellular-, and circuit-level functions in predicting the effects of naturally occurring or experimentally induced alterations. The functional implications of intrinsic burst generation in subsets of neurons are used to illustrate the potentially unexpected results that may ensue when translating molecular (membrane) properties into the language of the cortex. The chapter then uses the results of experiments on epileptogenesis to emphasize the important contributions that work on abnormal cortical function has made to understanding the normal operation of the cortex. Diversity and the plastic changes in the cortex produced by activity and injury are discussed as they relate to the pathophysiology of epilepsy. The study of epileptogenesis is a pseudonym for the study of brain function. The core issues are the same as those that form some of today's challenges in neuroscience.
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