Overview: Basic Elements of the Cortical Network
This chapter discusses the basic elements of the cortical network. In any examination of cortical circuitry, it is necessary to commence with the two basic classes of cortical neurons: one richly endowed with dendritic spines and the other effectively lacking them. The spiny and nonspiny cortical neurons are morphological expressions of two fundamental categories of neuron—excitatory and inhibitory—a division that can now be expressed in terms of their individual neurotransmitters: glutamergic and GABAergic. Among both classes, subtypes are now beginning to emerge based on morphological and chemical differences and on differential spiking behavior.
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