The Critical Role of Intrinsic Membrane Oscillations

Sang Hun Lee, Francisco J. Urbano, Edgar Garcia-Rill

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Intrinsic, rhythmic subthreshold oscillations have been described in neurons of regions throughout the brain and have been found to influence the timing of action potentials induced by synaptic inputs. Some oscillations are sodium channel-dependent while others are calcium channel-dependent. These oscillations allow neurons to fire coherently at preferred frequencies and represent the main mechanism for maintaining high frequency network activity, especially in the cortex. Because cortical circuits are incapable of maintaining high frequency activity in the gamma range for prolonged periods, those processes dependent on continuous gamma band activity are subserved by subthreshold oscillations. As such, intrinsic oscillations, coupled with synaptic circuits, are essential to prolonged maintenance of such functions as sensory perception and "binding", problem solving, memory, waking, and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-76
Number of pages11
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Author(s). Published by S. Karger AG, Basel.


  • Bottom-up gamma
  • N-type channel
  • P/Q-type channel
  • Parafascicular nucleus
  • Pedunculopontine nucleus
  • Subcoeruleus nucleus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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