On the electrical function of dendritic spines. Academic Article uri icon


  • Dendritic spines mediate most excitatory inputs in the brain, yet their function is still unclear. Imaging experiments have demonstrated their role in biochemical compartmentalization at individual synapses, yet theoretical studies have suggested that they could serve an electrical function in transforming synaptic inputs and transmitting dendritic spikes. Recent data indicate that spines possess voltage-dependent conductances and that these channels can be spine-specific. Although direct experimental investigations of the electrical properties of spines have not yet taken place, spines could play a significant electrical role, greatly influencing dendritic integration and the function of neural circuits.

publication date

  • February 2004