The frequency preference of neurons and synapses in a recurrent oscillatory network

Hua An Tseng, Diana Martinez, Farzan Nadim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


A variety of neurons and synapses shows a maximal response at a preferred frequency, generally considered to be important in shaping network activity. We are interested in whether all neurons and synapses in a recurrent oscillatory network can have preferred frequencies and, if so, whether these frequencies are the same or correlated, and whether they influence the network activity. We address this question using identified neurons in the pyloric network of the crab Cancer borealis. Previous work has shown that the pyloric pacemaker neurons exhibit membrane potential resonance whose resonance frequency is correlated with the network frequency. The follower lateral pyloric (LP) neuron makes reciprocally inhibitory synapses with the pacemakers. We find that LP shows resonance at a higher frequency than the pacemakers and the network frequency falls between the two. We also find that the reciprocal synapses between the pacemakers and LP have preferred frequencies but at significantly lower values. The preferred frequency of the LP to pacemaker synapse is correlated with the presynaptic preferred frequency, which is most pronounced when the peak voltage of the LP waveform is within the dynamic range of the synaptic activation curve and a shift in the activation curve by the modulatory neuropeptide proctolin shifts the frequency preference. Proctolin also changes the power of the LP neuron resonance without significantly changing the resonance frequency. These results indicate that different neuron types and synapses in a network may have distinct preferred frequencies, which are subject to neuromodulation and may interact to shape network oscillations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12933-12945
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number38
StatePublished - Sep 17 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience


  • Central pattern generator
  • Neuromodulation
  • Resonance
  • Stomatogastric


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