The generation of oscillations in networks of electrically coupled cells

Y. Loewenstein*, Y. Yarom, H. Sompolinsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


In several biological systems, the electrical coupling of nonoscillating cells generates synchronized membrane potential oscillations. Because the isolated cell is nonoscillating and electrical coupling tends to equalize the membrane potentials of the coupled cells, the mechanism underlying these oscillations is unclear. Here we present a dynamic mechanism by which the electrical coupling of identical nonoscillating cells can generate synchronous membrane potential oscillations. We demonstrate this mechanism by constructing a biologically feasible model of electrically coupled cells, characterized by an excitable membrane and calcium dynamics. We show that strong electrical coupling in this network generates multiple oscillatory states with different spatio-temporal patterns and discuss their possible role in the cooperative computations performed by the system.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)8095-8100
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number14
StatePublished - 2001


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