Scientific publications

Neuronal activity in the substantia nigra in the anaesthetized rat has fractal characteristics. Evidence for firing-code patterns in the basal ganglia

Jul 1, 2003 | Magazine: Experimental Brain Research

Rodríguez M, Pereda E, González J, Abdala P, Obeso JA.
Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of La Laguna, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

Current models of the basal ganglia assume a firing-rate code for information processing. We have applied five complementary computing methods to assess firing patterns in 188 cells of the substantia nigra in the anaesthetized rat.

Fractal firing activity was found in 100% of nigral cells projecting to the superior colliculus, in 51% of cells projecting to the thalamus and in 33% of cells projecting to the pedunculopontine nucleus, but was practically absent in dopaminergic nigrostriatal neurons (3%).

The finding of fractal firing patterns may lead to a better understanding of the normal operational mode and pathological manifestations of the basal ganglia.

CITATION  Exp Brain Res. 2003 Jul;151(2):167-72