Date of Award

Fall 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Biology - (Ph.D.)


Federated Department of Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Farzan Nadim

Second Advisor

Horacio G. Rotstein

Third Advisor

Gal Haspel

Fourth Advisor

Jorge P. Golowasch

Fifth Advisor

Michael Philip Nusbaum


In response to oscillatory input, many isolated neurons exhibit a preferred frequency response in their voltage amplitude and phase shift. Membrane potential resonance (MPR), a maximum amplitude in a neuron’s input impedance at a non-zero frequency, captures the essential subthreshold properties of a neuron, which may provide a coordinating mechanism for organizing the activity of oscillatory neuronal networks around a given frequency. In the pyloric central pattern generator network of the crab Cancer borealis, for example, the pacemaker group pyloric dilator neurons show MPR at a frequency that is correlated with the network frequency. This dissertation uses the crab pyloric CPG to examine how, in one neuron type, interactions of ionic currents, even when expressed at different levels, can produce consistent MPR properties, how MPR properties are modified by neuromodulators and how such modifications may lead to distinct functional effects at different network frequencies.

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