To understand how the cerebral cortex functions requires knowledge of single cells in this region and of their organization into cortical networks. Looking beyond the classical "wiring diagram" description of the organization of cortical cells into circuits, this innovative work focuses ondynamic aspects of cerebral cortical physiology, both at the single-neuron and network levels. Recent years have seen a remarkable expansion of knowledge about the basic cellular physiology and molecular biology of cortical neurons--their membrane properties, their synaptic characteristics, theirfunctional connectivity, their development, and the mechanisms of their response to injury. This authoritative volume includes contributions by many of the renowned neurobiologists and neurologists directly responsible for these advances. It is divided into four main sections, each of which isprefaced with an overview by a leading expert in the field. The sections cover cortical neurons and synapses, the cortical network, the developing cortical neuron, and the vulnerable cortical neuron. This final section focuses on the cortical neuron in relation to the mechanisms of epilepsy.Together, the chapters provide a balanced, up-to-date, multidisciplinary perspective on the normal and pathological function of the cells of the cerebral cortex, identifying the controversies and critical issues facing modern researchers in this exciting field.