"Neuronal dendrites are electrically excitable: they can generate regenerative events such as dendritic spikes in response to sufficiently strong synaptic input. Although such events have been observed in many neuronal types, it is not well understood how active dendrites contribute to the tuning of neuronal output in vivo. Here we show that dendritic spikes increase the selectivity of neuronal responses to the orientation of a visual stimulus (orientation tuning). ...".
Smith SL, Smith IT, Branco T, Häusser M (2013) Dendritic spikes enhance stimulus selectivity in cortical neurons in vivo. Nature 503:115-20 [PubMed]