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There are neurons in the brain that exhibit bursting behaviour. In some cases, this is due to interactions with the surrounding neural network. In other cases, it is due to intrinsic biological properties of the neurons.

In the case where it is intrinsic, where are these neurons found in the brain and what function to do they serve? How is their intrinsic bursting behaviour identified?

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One very notable example of intrinsically bursting neurons are the thalamocortical relay cells. They have a hyperpolarization-activated calcium channel which leads to periodic bursting at delta frequency. The hyperpolarization activation allows these neurons to switch from tonic firing (esp. during wakefulness) to burst firing (esp. during sleep). The bursting of these neurons has been associated with schizophrenia (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2802545/) and have even been fingered as the root of consciousness (see the work of Rodolfo Llinas).

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