The beat goes on: Spontaneous firing in mammalian neuronal microcircuits

Michael Häusser*, Indira M. Raman, Thomas Otis, Spencer L. Smith, Alexandra Nelson, Sascha Du Lac, Yonatan Loewenstein, Séverine Mahon, Cyriel Pennartz, Ivan Cohen, Yosef Yarom

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Although spontaneous firing was originally described decades ago, investigation of its underlying molecular and biophysical mechanisms and awareness of its potential functional consequences has seen a dramatic resurgence in the past few years. This is attributable to development of new techniques for investigating channel function in isolated neurons (cloning, identification, and localization of ion channels that underlie spontaneous activity) and systems approaches for understanding the contribution of single neurons to network function. Results emerging from these techniques have led to a growing consensus that spontaneous firing is not only a prominent feature of many neuronal networks but may also serve useful functional roles, contributing to regulating information flow in different microcircuits in the brain.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)9215-9219
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number42
StatePublished - 20 Oct 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Action potential
  • Cerebellum
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  • Hippocampus
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