3 years ago

Analysis of Claims that the Brain Extracellular Impedance Is High and Non-resistive

Analysis of Claims that the Brain Extracellular Impedance Is High and Non-resistive
Boris Barbour


Numerous measurements in the brain of the impedance between two extracellular electrodes have shown that it is approximately resistive in the range of biological interest, <10 kHz, and has a value close to that expected from the conductivity of physiological saline and the extracellular volume fraction in brain tissue. Recent work from Gomes et al. has claimed that the impedance of the extracellular space is some three orders of magnitude greater than these values and also displays a 1/f frequency dependence (above a low-frequency corner frequency). Their measurements were performed between an intracellular electrode and an extracellular electrode. It is argued that they incorrectly extracted the extracellular impedance because of an inaccurate representation of the large confounding impedance of the neuronal membrane. In conclusion, no compelling evidence has been provided to undermine the well-established and physically plausible consensus that the brain extracellular impedance is low and approximately resistive.

Publisher URL: http://www.cell.com/biophysj/fulltext/S0006-3495(17)30913-X

DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2017.05.054

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