The authors explain how the whole dendritic arborization contributes to the generation of various output discharges and elucidate the mechanisms of the transfer function of all dendritic sites. Their alternative modelling approach to conventional models introduces the notion of a functional dendritic space, and they have concentrated on a detailed spatial description of the electrical states at all dendritic sites when the dendrites operate. By analyzing the electrical dendritic space in which all the signals are processed, the authors provide tools to explore the spatial dimension of the transient events well known by electrophysiologists. They demonstrate the mechanisms by which the operating dendrites decide how, in fine, the distributed synaptic inputs generate final various output discharges. Their approach reveals the mechanisms by which individual dendritic geometry determines the sequence of action potentials that is the neuronal code. An accompanying NeuronViewer allows readers to monitor the simulation of operating dendritic arborization.
1. Definition of the neuron; 2. 3D geometry of dendritic arborizations; 3. Basics in bioelectricity; 4. The cable theory and the dendrites; 5. Voltage transfer over the dendrites; 6. Current transfer over dendrites; 7. Electrical structure of an artificial dendritic path; 8. Electrical structure of a bifurcation; 9. Geography of the dendritic space; 10. Electrical structures of biological dendrites; 11. Electrical structure of the whole arborization; 12. Electrical structures in the 3D dendritic space; 13. Dendritic space as coder of the temporal output patterns; 14. Concluding remarks.