Neocortical layer 5 intrinsically bursting (IB) pyramidal neurons were simulated using compartment model methods. Morphological data as well as target neurophysiological responses were taken from a series of published studies on the same set of rat visual cortex pyramidal neurons (Mason, A. and Larkman, A. J., 1990. J. Neurosci. 9,1440-1447; Larkman, A. J. 1991. J. Comp. Neurol. 306, 307-319). A dendritic distribution of ion channels was found that reproduced the range of in vitro responses of layer 5 IB pyramidal neurons, including the transition from repetitive bursting to the burst/tonic spiking mode seen in these neurons as input magnitude increases. In light of available data, the simulation results suggest that in these neurons bursts are driven by an inward flow of current during a high threshold Ca2+ spike extending throughout both the basal and apical dendritic branches.

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