We have used the morphology derived from single horseradish peroxidase-labeled neurons, known membrane conductance properties and microanatomy to construct a model neocortical network that exhibits synchronized bursting. The network was composed of interconnected pyramidal (excitatory) neurons with different intrinsic burst frequencies, and smooth (inhibitory) neurons that provided global feedback inhibition to all of the pyramids. When the network was activated by geniculocortical afferents the burst discharges of the pyramids quickly became synchronized with zero average phase-shift. The synchronization was strongly dependent on global feedback inhibition, which acted to group the coactivated bursts generated by intracortical reexcitation. Our results suggest that the synchronized bursting observed between cortical neurons responding to coherent visual stimuli is a simple consequence of the principles of intracortical connectivity.

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