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Progress in Brain Research, Vol. 149 ISSN 0079-6123

Summary: Progress in Brain Research, Vol. 149
ISSN 0079-6123
Copyright 2005 Elsevier BV. All rights reserved
Drivers and modulators from push-pull and
balanced synaptic input
L.F. Abbott1,
* and Frances S. Chance2
Volen Center and Department of Biology, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02454-9110, USA
Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, University of California at Irvine,
Irvine, CA 92697-4550, USA
Abstract: In 1998, Sherman and Guillery proposed that there are two types of inputs to cortical neurons; drivers and
modulators. These two forms of input are required to explain how, for example, sensory driven responses are controlled
and modified by attention and other internally generated gating signals. One might imagine that driver signals are
carried by fast ionotropic receptors, whereas modulators correspond to slower metabotropic receptors. Instead, we
have proposed a novel mechanism by which both driver and modulator inputs could be carried by transmission through
the same types of ionotropic receptors. In this scheme, the distinction between driver and modulator inputs is functional
and changeable rather than anatomical and fixed. Driver inputs are carried by excitation and inhibition acting in a


Source: Abbott, Laurence - Center for Neurobiology and Behavior & Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics, Columbia University


Collections: Biology and Medicine