Extracellular potentials from action potentials of anatomically realistic neurons and neuronal populations.
Extracellular potentials due to firing of action potentials are computed around cortical neurons and populations of cortical neurons. These extracellular potentials are calculated as a sum of contributions from ionic currents passing through the cell membrane at various locations using Maxwell's equations in the quasi-static limit. These transmembrane currents are found from simulations of anatomically reconstructed cortical neurons implemented as multi-compartmental models in the simulation tool NEURON. Extracellular signatures of action potentials of single neurons are calculated both in the immediate vicinity of the neuron somas and along vertical axes. For the neuronal populations only vertical axis distributions are considered. The vertical-axis calculations were performed to investigate the contributions of action potential firing to laminar-electrode recordings. Results for high-pass (750 - 3000 Hz) filtered potentials are also given to mimic multi-unit activity (MUA) recordings. Extracellular traces from single neurons and populations (both synchronous and asynchronous) of neurons are shown for three different neuron types: layer 3 pyramid, layer 4 stellate and layer 5 pyramid cell. The layer 3 cell shows a 'closed-field' configuration, while the layer 5 pyramid demonstrates an 'open-field' appearance for singe neuron simulations which is less apparent in population simulations. The layer 4 stellate cell seems to fall somewhere in between the open- and closed-field scenarios. Comparing single neuron and synchronous populations, the amplitudes of the extracellular traces increase as population radii increase, though the shapes are generally similar. Asynchronous populations produce small amplitudes due to a time convolution of various neuron contributions.