Instead, one may ask how large the cortical region is that generates the LFP. Several recent experimental studies have addressed this question (Kreiman et al., 2006, Liu and Newsome, 2006, Berens et al., 2008a, Katzner et al., 2009 and Xing et al., Abiraterone research buy 2009) but have reported different results ranging from a few hundred micrometers (Katzner et al., 2009 and Xing
et al., 2009) to several millimeters (Kreiman et al., 2006). How can the results be so different? One possibility is that the LFP reported in various experiments stems from different types of neuronal populations or that the electrodes have been placed differently. Moreover, different stimulation paradigms have been used, likely resulting in different levels of correlations between the synaptic currents providing the recorded LFP. It has long been suggested that the LFP is dominated by synchronously driven dendritic
input on pyramidal cells (Mitzdorf, 1985), but it has until now been unclear how the amount and spatial extent of correlations in synaptic activity influence the LFP. In the present study, we investigate various key factors determining the size of the region an LFP electrode can “see,” in particular, the neuronal morphology, synaptic distribution, level of correlation in synaptic activity, and the position of the recording electrode. We use a biophysical forward-modeling Panobinostat cell line approach to address these questions (Holt and Koch, 1999, Pettersen et al., 2008, Pettersen and Einevoll, 2008 and Lindén et al., 2010) and simulate the LFP signal from synaptically activated populations of morphologically reconstructed cortical cells. The LFP amplitude generally increases with increasing radius of the model population, but typically it flattens out beyond a certain radius, here termed the spatial reach. For uncorrelated synaptic activity, we find this spatial reach to be only a few hundred micrometers, implying that the recorded LFP is generated by a small population of neurons surrounding the electrode. This result is in line with findings in recent experimental studies ( Katzner
et al., isothipendyl 2009 and Xing et al., 2009). However, for particular synaptic distributions onto pyramidal cells, we find the reach of the LFP to be much larger and depend strongly on the level and spatial scale of correlations in the synaptic input, putatively explaining the disparate results reported in other experimental studies ( Kreiman et al., 2006, Liu and Newsome, 2006, Berens et al., 2008a, Katzner et al., 2009 and Xing et al., 2009). Our simulation findings are supported by analytical results using a simplified, yet as it turned out, accurate model of LFP generation. This model encapsulates the dependence of the population LFP on the spatial decay of single-neuron LFP contributions and correlation of synaptic input.