Foundational dendritic processing that is independent of the cell type-specific structure in model primary neurons

Hojeong Kim*, C. J. Heckman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


It has long been known that primary neurons in the brain and spinal cord exhibit very distinctive dendritic structures. However, it remains unclear whether dendritic processing for signal propagation and channel activation over dendrites is a function of the cell type-specific dendritic structure. By applying an extended analysis of signal attenuation for the physiological distributions of synaptic inputs and active channels on dendritic branches, we first demonstrate that regardless of their specific structure, all anatomically reconstructed models of primary neurons display a similar pattern of directional signal attenuation and locational channel activation over their dendrites. Then, using a novel modeling approach that allows direct comparison of the anatomically reconstructed primary neurons with their reduced models that exclusively retain anatomical dendritic signaling without being associated with structural specificity, we show that the reduced model can accurately predict dendritic excitability of the anatomical model in both passive and active mode. These results indicate that the directional signaling, locational excitability and their relationship are foundational features of dendritic processing that are independent of the cell type-specific structure across primary neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-209
Number of pages7
JournalNeuroscience Letters
StatePublished - Nov 16 2015


  • Dendritic excitability
  • Dendritic structure
  • Primary neurons
  • Reduced modelling
  • Signal propagation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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