Time course of miniature postsynaptic potentials at the Mauthner fiber giant synapse of the hatchetfish

J. W. Day, W. D. Huse, M. V.L. Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


The hatchetfish Mauthner fiber is presynaptic to 8-14 large myelinated axons in the medulla; the large ('giant') synapses formed by these fibers appear to be nicotinic cholinergic. Miniature postsynaptic potentials (mPSPs) were recorded from single identified synapses. The mPSPs were averaged to more accurately determine their shape; the rise time was approximately 70 μs, and the fall usually was biphasic with time constants of decay for the two phases of 280 and 800 μs. In 25% of the records analyzed a third, slow tail of decay was seen which had an average decay constant of 4.2 ms. The biphasic decay of mPSPs largely accounts for the similar shape of the postsynaptic current following a presynaptic impulse, which is described in the accompanying paper.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-128
Number of pages14
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 28 1985



  • Mauthner fiber
  • acetylcholine
  • hatchetfish
  • miniature postsynaptic potential
  • synapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

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