Ionic conductances present in the dendritic region of the cerebellar Purkinje neuron were studied using the single-channel and whole-cell recording methods. Several types of voltage-sensitive K+ channels including a Ca2+ activated K+ channel were found to be a prominent components of the dendritic membrane. All patches studied contained K+ channel types and most patches contained more than one K+ channel type. In cell attached recordings, K+ channel activity was associated with the late phase of spontaneous action potentials suggesting a functional relationship. These data demonstrate that voltage-sensitive ion channels contribute to dendritic excitability and suggest that the transduction and integration of synaptic signals may involve both active and passive ionic conductances.