Spike transmission and synchrony detection in networks of GABAergic interneurons.
The temporal pattern and relative timing of action potentials among neocortical neurons may carry important information. However, how cortical circuits detect or generate coherent activity remains unclear. Using paired recordings in rat neocortical slices, we found that the firing of fast-spiking cells can reflect the spiking pattern of single-axon pyramidal inputs. Moreover, this property allowed groups of fast-spiking cells interconnected by electrical and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-releasing (GABAergic) synapses to detect the relative timing of their excitatory inputs. These results indicate that networks of fast-spiking cells may play a role in the detection and promotion of synchronous activity within the neocortex.