Tonic excitation and inhibition of neurons: Ambient transmitter sources and computational consequences

Pauline Cavelier, Martine Hamann, David Rossi, Peter Mobbs, David Attwell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

120 Scopus citations


Tonic activation of excitatory and inhibitory receptors, by the ambient concentration of neurotransmitters in the extracellular space of the brain, has been suggested to underlie phenomena as diverse as relapse to cocaine use by reward pathways in the striatum, sparse coding of motor information in the cerebellum, and control of the development of the cerebral and cerebellar cortices. Here we assess the mechanisms which may determine the ambient levels of excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters, and consider their likely effect on information processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-16
Number of pages14
JournalProgress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Issue number1 SPEC. ISS.
StatePublished - Jan 2005



  • Ambient
  • Extracellular
  • GABA
  • Glutamate
  • Release
  • Tonic
  • Uptake

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology

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