Ephaptic coupling to endogenous electric field activity: why bother?

Author: Costas A Anastassiou1, Christof Koch2
Affiliation: <sup>1</sup> Allen Institute for Brain Science, Seattle, WA 98103, USA. Electronic address: costasa@alleninstitute.org. <sup>2</sup> Allen Institute for Brain Science, Seattle, WA 98103, USA.
Conference/Journal: Curr Opin Neurobiol
Date published: 2015 Apr 1
Other: Volume ID: 31 , Pages: 95-103 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2014.09.002. , Word Count: 104

There has been a revived interest in the impact of electric fields on neurons and networks. Here, we discuss recent advances in our understanding of how endogenous and externally imposed electric fields impact brain function at different spatial (from synapses to single neurons and neural networks) and temporal scales (from milliseconds to seconds). How such ephaptic effects are mediated and manifested in the brain remains a mystery. We argue that it is both possible (based on available technologies) and worthwhile to vigorously pursue such research as it has significant implications on our understanding of brain processing and for translational neuroscience.

PMID: 25265066 DOI: 10.1016/j.conb.2014.09.002