Canonical Cortical Circuits

Rodney J. Douglas and Kevan A. C. Martin

in Handbook of Brain Microcircuits

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780195389883
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199965137 | DOI:
Canonical Cortical Circuits

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This chapter focuses on recent experimental and theoretical considerations of the cortical circuits, which suggest that local circuits of cortical neurons are connected in a series of nested positive and negative feedback loops, called “recurrent circuits”. Excitatory neurons outnumber the inhibitory neurons by 5 to 1, so this ratio might be expected to create an unstable positive feedback. However, because the recurrent connections also exist between excitatory and inhibitory neurons, inhibition increases in proportion to excitation and the two opposing forces remain approximately in balance.

Chapter.  2972 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Development of the Nervous System

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