Precise excitation-inhibition balance controls gain and timing in the hippocampus

Excitation-inhibition (EI) balance controls excitability, dynamic range, and input gating in many brain circuits. Subsets of synaptic input can be selected or 'gated' by precise modulation of finely tuned EI balance, but assessing the granularity of EI balance requires combinatorial analysis of excitatory and inhibitory inputs. Using patterned optogenetic stimulation of mouse hippocampal CA3 neurons, we show that hundreds of unique CA3 input combinations recruit excitation and inhibition with a nearly identical ratio, demonstrating precise EI balance at the hippocampus. Crucially, the delay between excitation and inhibition decreases as excitatory input increases from a few synapses to tens of synapses. This creates a dynamic millisecond-range window for postsynaptic excitation, controlling membrane depolarization amplitude and timing via subthreshold divisive normalization. We suggest that this combination of precise EI balance and dynamic EI delays forms a general mechanism for millisecond-range input gating and subthreshold gain control in feedforward networks.Read more…

Excitation-inhibition (EI) balance controls excitability, dynamic range, and input gating in many brain circuits. Subsets of synaptic input can be selected or 'gated' by precise modulation of finely tuned EI balance, but assessing the granularity of EI balance requires combinatorial analysis of excitatory and inhibitory inputs. Using patterned optogenetic stimulation of mouse hippocampal CA3 neurons, we show that hundreds of unique CA3 input combinations recruit excitation and inhibition with a nearly identical ratio, demonstrating precise EI balance at the hippocampus. Crucially, the delay between excitation and inhibition decreases as excitatory input increases from a few synapses to tens of synapses. This creates a dynamic millisecond-range window for postsynaptic excitation, controlling membrane depolarization amplitude and timing via subthreshold divisive normalization. We suggest that this combination of precise EI balance and dynamic EI delays forms a general mechanism for millisecond-range input gating and subthreshold gain control in feedforward networks.Read more…


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