The Theoretical Foundations of Dendritic Function
by
Idan Segev, John Rinzel , Gordon M. Shepherd (Editor)
Wilfrid Rall was a pioneer in establishing the integrative functions of neuronal dendrites that have provided a foundation for neurobiology in general and
computational neuroscience in particular.
This collection of fifteen previously published papers, some of them not widely available, have been carefully
chosen and annotated by Rall's colleagues and other leading neuroscientists.
It brings together Rall's work over more than forty years, including his first
papers extending cable theory to complex dendritic trees, his groundbreaking paper introducing compartmental analysis to computational neuroscience,
and his studies of synaptic integration in motoneurons, dendrodendritic interactions, plasticity of dendritic spines, and active dendritic properties.
Today it is well known that the brain's synaptic information is processed mostly in the dendrites where many of the plastic changes underlying learning and memory
take place. It is particularly timely to look again at the work of a major creator of the field, to appreciate where things started and where they have led, and
to correct any misinterpretations of Rall's work.
The editors' introduction highlights the major insights that were gained from Rall's studies as well as from those
of his collaborators and followers.
It asks the questions that Rall proposed during his scientific career and briefly summarizes the answers.
The papers include
commentaries by Milton Brightman, Robert E. Burke, William R. Holmes, Donald R. Humphrey, Julian J. B. Jack, John Miller, Stephen Redman, John Rinzel,
Idan Segev, Gordon M. Shepherd, and Charles Wilson.
Table of content
 Series Foreword ix
 Foreword by Terrence J. Sejnowski xi
 1 INTRODUCTION 1
 1.1 Overview of Wilfrid Rall's Contributions to Understanding Dendritic Function by Idan Segev, John Rinzel, and Gordon M. Shepherd 3
 2 CABLE PROPERTIES OF NEURONS WITH COMPLEX DENDRITIC TREES 25
 2.1 Introduction by Julian Jack and Stephen Redman 27
 2.2 Rall (1957) Membrane Time Constant of Motoneurons 34
 2.3 Rall (1959) Branching Dendritic Trees and Motoneuron Membrane Resistivity 37
 2.4 Rall (1960) Membrane Potential Transients and Membrane Time Constant of Motoneurons 74
 3 INTERPRETING EXTRACELLULAR FIELD POTENTIALS FROM NEURONS WITH DENDRITIC TREES 105
 3.1 Introduction by Donald R. Humphrey to Rall (1962) 107
 3.2 Editorial Comment with an Excerpt from Rall (1992) 110
 4 COMPARTMENTAL METHOD FOR MODELING NEURONS, AND THE ANALYSIS OF DENDRITIC INTEGRATION 115
 4.1 Introduction by Idan Segev 117
 4.2 Rall (1964) Theoretical Significance of Dendritic Trees for Neuronal InputOutput Relations 122
 5 MODELS OF OLFACTORY BULB NEURONS AND DENDRODENDRITIC SYNAPTIC INTERACTIONS 147
 5.1 Introduction by Gordon M. Shepherd with Supplemental Comments by Milton Brightman 149
 5.2 Rall, Shepherd Reese, and Brightman (1966) Dendrodendritic Synaptic Pathway for Inhibition in the Olfactory Bulb 160
 5.3 Rall and Shepherd (1968) Theoretical Reconstruction of Field Potentials and Dendrodendritic Synaptic Interactions in Olfactory Bulb 173
 6 MOTONEURON MODELS OF DISTRIBUTED DENDRITIC SYNAPSES AND MECHANISMS OF NONLINEAR SYNAPTIC INTERACTIONS 205
 6.1 Introduction by Robert E. Burke 207
 6.2 Rall (1967) Distinguishing Theoretical Synaptic Potentials Computed for Different SomaDendritic Distributions of Synaptic Input 215
 7 EQUALIZING TIME CONSTANTS AND ELECTROTONIC LENGTH OF DENDRITES 247
 7.1 Introduction by William R. Holmes 249
 7.2 Rall (1969) Time Constants and Electrotonic Length of Membrane Cylinders and Neurons 253
 8 ANALYSIS OF RESPONSE TO SINGLE INPUTS IN A COMPLEX DENDRITIC TREE 279
 8.1 Introduction by Charles Wilson with Supplemental Comments by John Rinzel 281
 8.2 Rall and Rinzel (1973) Branch Input Resistance and Steady Attenuation for Input to One Branch of a Dendritic Neuron Model 287
 8.3 Rinzel and Rall (1974) Transient Response in a Dendritic Neuron Model for Current Injected at One Branch 328
 9 EFFECTS OF CHANGING DIAMETER ON IMPULSE PROPAGATION 361
 9.1 Introduction by John Rinzel and Idan Segev 363
 9.2 Goldstein and Rall (1974) Changes of Action Potential Shape and Velocity for Changing Core Conductor Geometry 368
 10 DENDRITIC SPINES: PLASTICITY, LEARNING, AND ACTIVE AMPLIFICATION 395
 10.1 Introduction by Gordon M. Shepherd with Supplemental Comments by John Miller 397
 10.2 Rall (1974) Dendritic Spines, Synaptic Potency and Neuronal Plasticity 412
 10.3 Miller, Rall, and Rinzel (1985) Synaptic Amplification by Active Membrane in Dendritic Spines 420
 A APPENDIX: MOTONEURON POPULATION MODELS FOR INPUTOUTPUT AND VARIABILITY OF MONOSYNAPTIC REFLEX 427
 A.1 Introduction by Julian Jack to Rall (1955a,b) and Rall and Hunt (1956) 429
 A.2 Editorial Comment with an Excerpt from Rall (1990) 441
 Complete Bibliography of Wilfrid Rall 449
 Index 453
