We study the electrical activity patterns and the expression of conductances in adult stomatogastric ganglion (STG) neurons as a function of time in primary cell culture. When first plated in culture, these neurons had few active properties. After 1 d in culture they produced small action potentials that rapidly inactivated during maintained depolarization. After 2 d in culture they fired large action potentials tonically when depolarized, and their properties resembled very closely the properties of STG neurons pharmacologically isolated in the ganglion. After 3–4 d in culture, however, their electrical properties changed and they fired in bursts when depolarized. We characterized the currents expressed by these neurons in culture. They included two TTX-sensitive sodium currents, a calcium current, a delayed-rectifier-like current, a calcium-dependent potassium current, and two A-type currents. The changes in firing properties with time in culture were accompanied by an increase in inward and decrease in outward current densities. A single-compartment conductance-based model of an STG neuron was constructed by fitting the currents measured in the biological neurons. When the current densities in the model neuron were matched to those measured for the biological neurons in each activity state, the model neuron closely reproduced each state, indicating that the changes in current densities are sufficient to account for the changes in intrinsic properties. These data indicate that STG neurons isolated in culture change their intrinsic electrical properties by selectively adjusting the magnitudes of their ionic conductances.