In this last decade, the combination of differential interference contrast infrared video technology and patch-clamp techniques applied to slices in vitro has allowed the routine electrophysiological recording of visually identified central neurones. This has opened the way to the possibility of preselecting GABAergic interneurones of the hippocampus on the basis of some peculiar morphological characteristics. In particular, stratum oriens 'horizontal' interneurones are easily recognizable in living hippocampal slices because of their location and bipolar/bitufted appearance. Thus, this class of cells has rapidly risen as one of the most studied in the entire hippocampus. In this review, I will try to assemble the vast electrophysiological knowledge on these interneurones into a more focused picture, which is relevant for network activity in vitro and in vivo.
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