The synaptic NMDA component desynchronizes neural bursters

Jesper Tegnér*, Jeanette Hellgren-Kotaleski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The influence of excitatory and inhibitory coupling on synchronization depends on the temporal dynamics of the synapse. Slow excitation is desynchronizing whereas fast excitation tends to synchronize neuronal firing. Excitation via glutamatergic synapses, however, activates both ionotropic AMPA/kainate and NMDA receptors. Here we analyze the role of the synaptic NMDA component. We show that slowly bursting neurons desynchronize when connected by symmetrical NMDA synapses whereas they tend to synchronize when coupled with symmetrical AMPA/kainate synapses. This suggests that the effect on synchronization of an excitatory synapse also depends on the relative proportion of NMDA and AMPA/kainate synapses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)557-563
Number of pages7
StatePublished - Jun 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Bursters
  • Calcium
  • Slow variable
  • Synchronization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Artificial Intelligence


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