Dendritic coincidence detection of EPSPs and action potentials

Greg J. Stuart, Michael Häusser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

288 Citations (Scopus)


We describe a mechanism for coincidence detection mediated by the interaction between backpropagating action potentials and EPSPs in neocortical pyramidal neurons. At distal dendritic locations, appropriately timed EPSPs or oscillations could increase the amplitude of backpropagating action potentials by three- to fourfold. This amplification was greatest when action potentials occurred at the peak of EPSPs or dendritic oscillations and could lead to somatic burst firing. The increase in amplitude required sodium channel activation but not potassium channel inactivation. The temporal characteristics of this amplification are similar to those required for changes in synaptic strength, suggesting that this mechanism may be involved in the induction of synaptic plasticity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-71
Number of pages9
JournalNature Neuroscience
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2001
Externally publishedYes

Cite this