To examine whether dynamic cerebral autoregulation is acutely impaired during maximal voluntary apnoea in trained divers.
Mean arterial pressure (MAP), cerebral blood flow-velocity (CBFV) and end-tidal partial pressures of O2 and CO2 (PETO2 and PETCO2) were measured in eleven trained, male apnoea divers (28±2 yr; 182±2 cm, 76±7 kg) during maximal “dry” breath holding. Dynamic cerebral autoregulation was assessed by determining the strength of phase synchronisation between MAP and CBFV during maximal apnoea.
The strength of phase synchronisation between MAP and CBFV increased from rest until the end of maximal voluntary apnoea (P<0.05), suggesting that dynamic cerebral autoregulation had weakened by the apnoea breakpoint. The magnitude of impairment in dynamic cerebral autoregulation was strongly, and positively related to the rise in PETCO2 observed during maximal breath holding (R2 = 0.67, P<0.05). Interestingly, the impairment in dynamic cerebral autoregulation was not related to the fall in PETO2 induced by apnoea (R2 = 0.01, P = 0.75).
This study is the first to report that dynamic cerebral autoregulation is acutely impaired in trained divers performing maximal voluntary apnoea. Furthermore, our data suggest that the impaired autoregulatory response is related to the change in PETCO2, but not PETO2, during maximal apnoea in trained divers.
The dynamics of individual neurons are crucial for producing functional activity in neuronal networks. An open question is how temporal characteristics can be controlled in bursting activity and in transient neuronal responses to synaptic input. Bifurcation theory provides a framework to discover generic mechanisms addressing this question. We present a family of mechanisms organized around a global codimension-2 bifurcation. The cornerstone bifurcation is located at the intersection of the border between bursting and spiking and the border between bursting and silence. These borders correspond to the blue sky catastrophe bifurcation and the saddle-node bifurcation on an invariant circle (SNIC) curves, respectively. The cornerstone bifurcation satisfies the conditions for both the blue sky catastrophe and SNIC. The burst duration and interburst interval increase as the inverse of the square root of the difference between the corresponding bifurcation parameter and its bifurcation value. For a given set of burst duration and interburst interval, one can find the parameter values supporting these temporal characteristics. The cornerstone bifurcation also determines the responses of silent and spiking neurons. In a silent neuron with parameters close to the SNIC, a pulse of current triggers a single burst. In a spiking neuron with parameters close to the blue sky catastrophe, a pulse of current temporarily silences the neuron. These responses are stereotypical: the durations of the transient intervals–the duration of the burst and the duration of latency to spiking–are governed by the inverse-square-root laws. The mechanisms described here could be used to coordinate neuromuscular control in central pattern generators. As proof of principle, we construct small networks that control metachronal-wave motor pattern exhibited in locomotion. This pattern is determined by the phase relations of bursting neurons in a simple central pattern generator modeled by a chain of oscillators.
Brain-machine interface (BMI) systems give users direct neural control of robotic, communication, or functional electrical stimulation systems. As BMI systems begin transitioning from laboratory settings into activities of daily living, an important goal is to develop neural decoding algorithms that can be calibrated with a minimal burden on the user, provide stable control for long periods of time, and can be responsive to fluctuations in the decoder’s neural input space (e.g. neurons appearing or being lost amongst electrode recordings). These are significant challenges for static neural decoding algorithms that assume stationary input/output relationships. Here we use an actor-critic reinforcement learning architecture to provide an adaptive BMI controller that can successfully adapt to dramatic neural reorganizations, can maintain its performance over long time periods, and which does not require the user to produce specific kinetic or kinematic activities to calibrate the BMI. Two marmoset monkeys used the Reinforcement Learning BMI (RLBMI) to successfully control a robotic arm during a two-target reaching task. The RLBMI was initialized using random initial conditions, and it quickly learned to control the robot from brain states using only a binary evaluative feedback regarding whether previously chosen robot actions were good or bad. The RLBMI was able to maintain control over the system throughout sessions spanning multiple weeks. Furthermore, the RLBMI was able to quickly adapt and maintain control of the robot despite dramatic perturbations to the neural inputs, including a series of tests in which the neuron input space was deliberately halved or doubled.
A fundamental goal of neuroscience is to understand how cognitive processes, such as operant conditioning, are performed by the brain. Typical and well studied examples of operant conditioning, in which the firing rates of individual cortical neurons in monkeys are increased using rewards, provide an opportunity for insight into this. Studies of reward-modulated spike-timing-dependent plasticity (RSTDP), and of other models such as R-max, have reproduced this learning behavior, but they have assumed that no unsupervised learning is present (i.e., no learning occurs without, or independent of, rewards). We show that these models cannot elicit firing rate reinforcement while exhibiting both reward learning and ongoing, stable unsupervised learning. To fix this issue, we propose a new RSTDP model of synaptic plasticity based upon the observed effects that dopamine has on long-term potentiation and depression (LTP and LTD). We show, both analytically and through simulations, that our new model can exhibit unsupervised learning and lead to firing rate reinforcement. This requires that the strengthening of LTP by the reward signal is greater than the strengthening of LTD and that the reinforced neuron exhibits irregular firing. We show the robustness of our findings to spike-timing correlations, to the synaptic weight dependence that is assumed, and to changes in the mean reward. We also consider our model in the differential reinforcement of two nearby neurons. Our model aligns more strongly with experimental studies than previous models and makes testable predictions for future experiments.
About ten years ago, HMAX was proposed as a simple and biologically feasible model for object recognition, based on how the visual cortex processes information. However, the model does not encompass sparse firing, which is a hallmark of neurons at all stages of the visual pathway. The current paper presents an improved model, called sparse HMAX, which integrates sparse firing. This model is able to learn higher-level features of objects on unlabeled training images. Unlike most other deep learning models that explicitly address global structure of images in every layer, sparse HMAX addresses local to global structure gradually along the hierarchy by applying patch-based learning to the output of the previous layer. As a consequence, the learning method can be standard sparse coding (SSC) or independent component analysis (ICA), two techniques deeply rooted in neuroscience. What makes SSC and ICA applicable at higher levels is the introduction of linear higher-order statistical regularities by max pooling. After training, high-level units display sparse, invariant selectivity for particular individuals or for image categories like those observed in human inferior temporal cortex (ITC) and medial temporal lobe (MTL). Finally, on an image classification benchmark, sparse HMAX outperforms the original HMAX by a large margin, suggesting its great potential for computer vision.
Systems with bifurcations may experience abrupt irreversible and often unwanted shifts in their performance, called critical transitions. For many systems like climate, economy, ecosystems it is highly desirable to identify indicators serving as early warnings of such regime shifts. Several statistical measures were recently proposed as early warnings of critical transitions including increased variance, autocorrelation and skewness of experimental or model-generated data. The lack of automatized tool for model-based prediction of critical transitions led to designing DyGloSA – a MATLAB toolbox for dynamical global parameter sensitivity analysis (GPSA) of ordinary differential equations models. We suggest that the switch in dynamics of parameter sensitivities revealed by our toolbox is an early warning that a system is approaching a critical transition. We illustrate the efficiency of our toolbox by analyzing several models with bifurcations and predicting the time periods when systems can still avoid going to a critical transition by manipulating certain parameter values, which is not detectable with the existing SA techniques. DyGloSA is based on the SBToolbox2 and contains functions, which compute dynamically the global sensitivity indices of the system by applying four main GPSA methods: eFAST, Sobol's ANOVA, PRCC and WALS. It includes parallelized versions of the functions enabling significant reduction of the computational time (up to 12 times). DyGloSA is freely available as a set of MATLAB scripts at http://bio.uni.lu/systems_biology/software/dyglosa. It requires installation of MATLAB (versions R2008b or later) and the Systems Biology Toolbox2 available at www.sbtoolbox2.org. DyGloSA can be run on Windows and Linux systems, -32 and -64 bits.
An unnoticed chaotic firing pattern, lying between period-1 and period-2 firing patterns, has received little attention over the past 20 years since it was first simulated in the Hindmarsh-Rose (HR) model. In the present study, the rat sciatic nerve model of chronic constriction injury (CCI) was used as an experimental neural pacemaker to investigate the transition regularities of spontaneous firing patterns. Chaotic firing lying between period-1 and period-2 firings was observed located in four bifurcation scenarios in different, isolated neural pacemakers. These bifurcation scenarios were induced by decreasing extracellular calcium concentrations. The behaviors after period-2 firing pattern in the four scenarios were period-doubling bifurcation not to chaos, period-doubling bifurcation to chaos, period-adding sequences with chaotic firings, and period-adding sequences with stochastic firings. The deterministic structure of the chaotic firing pattern was identified by the first return map of interspike intervals and a short-term prediction using nonlinear prediction. The experimental observations closely match those simulated in a two-dimensional parameter space using the HR model, providing strong evidences of the existence of chaotic firing lying between period-1 and period-2 firing patterns in the actual nervous system. The results also present relationships in the parameter space between this chaotic firing and other firing patterns, such as the chaotic firings that appear after period-2 firing pattern located within the well-known comb-shaped region, periodic firing patterns and stochastic firing patterns, as predicted by the HR model. We hope that this study can focus attention on and help to further the understanding of the unnoticed chaotic neural firing pattern.
Cortical oscillatory signals of single and double tremor frequencies act together to cause tremor in the peripheral limbs of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). But the corticospinal pathway that transmits the tremor signals has not been clarified, and how alternating bursts of antagonistic muscle activations are generated from the cortical oscillatory signals is not well understood. This paper investigates the plausible role of propriospinal neurons (PN) in C3–C4 in transmitting the cortical oscillatory signals to peripheral muscles. Kinematics data and surface electromyogram (EMG) of tremor in forearm were collected from PD patients. A PN network model was constructed based on known neurophysiological connections of PN. The cortical efferent signal of double tremor frequencies were integrated at the PN network, whose outputs drove the muscles of a virtual arm (VA) model to simulate tremor behaviors. The cortical efferent signal of single tremor frequency actuated muscle spindles. By comparing tremor data of PD patients and the results of model simulation, we examined two hypotheses regarding the corticospinal transmission of oscillatory signals in Parkinsonian tremor. Hypothesis I stated that the oscillatory cortical signals were transmitted via the mono-synaptic corticospinal pathways bypassing the PN network. The alternative hypothesis II stated that they were transmitted by way of PN multi-synaptic corticospinal pathway. Simulations indicated that without the PN network, the alternating burst patterns of antagonistic muscle EMGs could not be reliably generated, rejecting the first hypothesis. However, with the PN network, the alternating burst patterns of antagonist EMGs were naturally reproduced under all conditions of cortical oscillations. The results suggest that cortical commands of single and double tremor frequencies are further processed at PN to compute the alternating burst patterns in flexor and extensor muscles, and the neuromuscular dynamics demonstrated a frequency dependent damping on tremor, which may prevent tremor above 8 Hz to occur.
The mammalian hippocampus expresses several types of network oscillations which entrain neurons into transiently stable assemblies. These groups of co-active neurons are believed to support the formation, consolidation and recall of context-dependent memories. Formation of new assemblies occurs during theta- and gamma-oscillations under conditions of high cholinergic activity. Memory consolidation is linked to sharp wave-ripple oscillations (SPW-R) during decreased cholinergic tone. We hypothesized that increased cholinergic tone supports plastic changes of assemblies while low cholinergic tone favors their stability. Coherent spatiotemporal network patterns were measured during SPW-R activity in mouse hippocampal slices. We compared neuronal activity within the oscillating assemblies before and after a transient phase of carbachol-induced gamma oscillations. Single units maintained their coupling to SPW-R throughout the experiment and could be re-identified after the transient phase of gamma oscillations. However, the frequency of SPW-R-related unit firing was enhanced after muscarinic stimulation. At the network level, these changes resulted in altered patterns of extracellularly recorded SPW-R waveforms. In contrast, recording of ongoing SPW-R activity without intermittent cholinergic stimulation revealed remarkably stable repetitive activation of assemblies. These results show that activation of cholinergic receptors induces plasticity at the level of oscillating hippocampal assemblies, in line with the different role of gamma- and SPW-R network activity for memory formation and –consolidation, respectively.
Our knowledge about the neural code in the auditory nerve is based to a large extent on experiments on cats. Several anatomical differences between auditory neurons in human and cat are expected to lead to functional differences in speed and safety of spike conduction.
Confocal microscopy was used to systematically evaluate peripheral and central process diameters, commonness of myelination and morphology of spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) along the cochlea of three human and three cats. Based on these morphometric data, model analysis reveales that spike conduction in SGNs is characterized by four phases: a postsynaptic delay, constant velocity in the peripheral process, a presomatic delay and constant velocity in the central process. The majority of SGNs are type I, connecting the inner hair cells with the brainstem. In contrast to those of humans, type I neurons of the cat are entirely myelinated. Biophysical model evaluation showed delayed and weak spikes in the human soma region as a consequence of a lack of myelin. The simulated spike conduction times are in accordance with normal interwave latencies from auditory brainstem response recordings from man and cat. Simulated 400 pA postsynaptic currents from inner hair cell ribbon synapses were 15 times above threshold. They enforced quick and synchronous spiking. Both of these properties were not present in type II cells as they receive fewer and much weaker (∼26 pA) synaptic stimuli.
Wasting synaptic energy boosts spike initiation, which guarantees the rapid transmission of temporal fine structure of auditory signals. However, a lack of myelin in the soma regions of human type I neurons causes a large delay in spike conduction in comparison with cat neurons. The absent myelin, in combination with a longer peripheral process, causes quantitative differences of temporal parameters in the electrically stimulated human cochlea compared to the cat cochlea.
channels are uniquely positioned to act as neuromodulatory control points for tuning hippocampal theta (4–12 Hz) and gamma (25 Hz) oscillations, oscillations which are thought to have importance for organization of information flow. contributes to neuronal membrane resonance and resting membrane potential, and is modulated by second messengers. We investigated oscillatory control using a multiscale computer model of hippocampal CA3, where each cell class (pyramidal, basket, and oriens-lacunosum moleculare cells), contained type-appropriate isoforms of . Our model demonstrated that modulation of pyramidal and basket allows tuning theta and gamma oscillation frequency and amplitude. Pyramidal also controlled cross-frequency coupling (CFC) and allowed shifting gamma generation towards particular phases of the theta cycle, effected via 's ability to set pyramidal excitability. Our model predicts that in vivo neuromodulatory control of allows flexibly controlling CFC and the timing of gamma discharges at particular theta phases.
In vitro, Purkinje cell behaviour is sometimes studied in a dissociated soma preparation in which the dendritic projection has been cleaved. A fraction of these dissociated somas spontaneously burst. The mechanism of this bursting is incompletely understood. We have constructed a biophysical Purkinje soma model, guided and constrained by experimental reports in the literature, that can replicate the somatically driven bursting pattern and which hypothesises Persistent Na+ current (INaP) to be its burst initiator and SK K+ current (ISK) to be its burst terminator.
The question of how the structure of a neuronal network affects its functionality has gained a lot of attention in neuroscience. However, the vast majority of the studies on structure-dynamics relationships consider few types of network structures and assess limited numbers of structural measures. In this in silico study, we employ a wide diversity of network topologies and search among many possibilities the aspects of structure that have the greatest effect on the network excitability. The network activity is simulated using two point-neuron models, where the neurons are activated by noisy fluctuation of the membrane potential and their connections are described by chemical synapse models, and statistics on the number and quality of the emergent network bursts are collected for each network type. We apply a prediction framework to the obtained data in order to find out the most relevant aspects of network structure. In this framework, predictors that use different sets of graph-theoretic measures are trained to estimate the activity properties, such as burst count or burst length, of the networks. The performances of these predictors are compared with each other. We show that the best performance in prediction of activity properties for networks with sharp in-degree distribution is obtained when the prediction is based on clustering coefficient. By contrast, for networks with broad in-degree distribution, the maximum eigenvalue of the connectivity graph gives the most accurate prediction. The results shown for small () networks hold with few exceptions when different neuron models, different choices of neuron population and different average degrees are applied. We confirm our conclusions using larger () networks as well. Our findings reveal the relevance of different aspects of network structure from the viewpoint of network excitability, and our integrative method could serve as a general framework for structure-dynamics studies in biosciences.
Attentional networks that integrate many cortical and subcortical elements dynamically control mental processes to focus on specific events and make a decision. The resources of attentional processing are finite. Nevertheless, we often face situations in which it is necessary to simultaneously process several modalities, for example, to switch attention between players in a soccer field. Here we use a global brain mode description to build a model of attentional control dynamics. This model is based on sequential information processing stability conditions that are realized through nonsymmetric inhibition in cortical circuits. In particular, we analyze the dynamics of attentional switching and focus in the case of parallel processing of three interacting mental modalities. Using an excitatory-inhibitory network, we investigate how the bifurcations between different attentional control strategies depend on the stimuli and analyze the relationship between the time of attention focus and the strength of the stimuli. We discuss the interplay between attention and decision-making: in this context, a decision-making process is a controllable bifurcation of the attention strategy. We also suggest the dynamical evaluation of attentional resources in neural sequence processing.
Recent physiological studies have shown that neurons in various regions of the central nervous systems continuously receive noisy excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs in a balanced and covaried fashion. While this balanced synaptic input (BSI) is typically described in terms of maintaining the stability of neural circuits, a number of experimental and theoretical studies have suggested that BSI plays a proactive role in brain functions such as top-down modulation for executive control. Two issues have remained unclear in this picture. First, given the noisy nature of neuronal activities in neural circuits, how do the modulatory effects change if the top-down control implements BSI with different ratios between inhibition and excitation? Second, how is a top-down BSI realized via only excitatory long-range projections in the neocortex? To address the first issue, we systematically tested how the inhibition/excitation ratio affects the accuracy and reaction times of a spiking neural circuit model of perceptual decision. We defined an energy function to characterize the network dynamics, and found that different ratios modulate the energy function of the circuit differently and form two distinct functional modes. To address the second issue, we tested BSI with long-distance projection to inhibitory neurons that are either feedforward or feedback, depending on whether these inhibitory neurons do or do not receive inputs from local excitatory cells, respectively. We found that BSI occurs in both cases. Furthermore, when relying on feedback inhibitory neurons, through the recurrent interactions inside the circuit, BSI dynamically and automatically speeds up the decision by gradually reducing its inhibitory component in the course of a trial when a decision process takes too long.
Flexibility in neuronal circuits has its roots in the dynamical richness of their neurons. Depending on their membrane properties single neurons can produce a plethora of activity regimes including silence, spiking and bursting. What is less appreciated is that these regimes can coexist with each other so that a transient stimulus can cause persistent change in the activity of a given neuron. Such multistability of the neuronal dynamics has been shown in a variety of neurons under different modulatory conditions. It can play either a functional role or present a substrate for dynamical diseases. We considered a database of an isolated leech heart interneuron model that can display silent, tonic spiking and bursting regimes. We analyzed only the cases of endogenous bursters producing functional half-center oscillators (HCOs). Using a one parameter (the leak conductance ()) bifurcation analysis, we extended the database to include silent regimes (stationary states) and systematically classified cases for the coexistence of silent and bursting regimes. We showed that different cases could exhibit two stable depolarized stationary states and two hyperpolarized stationary states in addition to various spiking and bursting regimes. We analyzed all cases of endogenous bursters and found that 18% of the cases were multistable, exhibiting coexistences of stationary states and bursting. Moreover, 91% of the cases exhibited multistability in some range of . We also explored HCOs built of multistable neuron cases with coexisting stationary states and a bursting regime. In 96% of cases analyzed, the HCOs resumed normal alternating bursting after one of the neurons was reset to a stationary state, proving themselves robust against this perturbation.
It is often not appreciated that different activity regimes can coexist with each other in a given neuron so that a transient stimulus can cause a persistent change of activity. Such multistability of the neuronal dynamics has in fact been shown in a variety of neurons and can play either a functional role or present a substrate for neurological diseases. We explored the propensity for multistability in a database of a leech heart interneuron model, testing each case (parameter set) in a database for multistability. We found a large proportion of multistable cases, especially the coexistence of silent and bursting regimes. This was a surprising result, since these cells pace the heartbeat of the leech, and the coexistence of silence and bursting could disrupt the functional pattern, threatening the viability of the leech. Analysis of networks of mutually inhibitory multistable neurons, however, showed robustness in maintaining functional activity, suggesting that the mutually inhibitory coupling can act as a protective mechanism against failures induced by multistability.
Interneurons in the olfactory bulb are key elements of odor processing but their roles have not yet being fully understood. Two types of inhibitory interneurons, periglomerular and granule cells, act at two different levels within the olfactory bulb and may have different roles in coordinating the spiking of mitral cells, which are the principal output neurons of the olfactory bulb. In this work we introduce a reduced compartmental model of the periglomerular cell and use it to investigate its role on mitral cell spiking in a model of an elementary cell triad composed of these two cell types plus a granule cell. Our simulation results show that the periglomerular cell is more effective in inhibiting the mitral cell than the granule cell. Based on our results we predict that periglomerular and granule cells have different roles in the control of mitral cell spiking. The periglomerular cell would be the only one capable of completely inhibiting the mitral cell, and the activity decrease of the mitral cell through this inhibitory action would occur in a stepwise fashion depending on parameters of the periglomerular and granule cells as well as on the relative times of arrival of external stimuli to the three cells. The major role of the granule cell would be to facilitate the inhibitory action of the periglomerular cell by enlarging the range of parameters of the periglomerular cell which correspond to complete inhibition of the mitral cell. The combined action of the two interneurons would thus provide an efficient way of controling the instantaneous value of the firing rate of the mitral cell.
Shift work has become an integral part of our life with almost 20% of the population being involved in different shift schedules in developed countries. However, the atypical work times, especially the night shifts, are associated with reduced quality and quantity of sleep that leads to increase of sleepiness often culminating in accidents. It has been demonstrated that shift workers’ sleepiness can be improved by a proper scheduling of light exposure and optimizing shifts timing. Here, an integrated physiologically-based model of sleep-wake cycles is used to predict adaptation to shift work in different light conditions and for different shift start times for a schedule of four consecutive days of work. The integrated model combines a model of the ascending arousal system in the brain that controls the sleep-wake switch and a human circadian pacemaker model. To validate the application of the integrated model and demonstrate its utility, its dynamics are adjusted to achieve a fit to published experimental results showing adaptation of night shift workers (n = 8) in conditions of either bright or regular lighting. Further, the model is used to predict the shift workers’ adaptation to the same shift schedule, but for conditions not considered in the experiment. The model demonstrates that the intensity of shift light can be reduced fourfold from that used in the experiment and still produce good adaptation to night work. The model predicts that sleepiness of the workers during night shifts on a protocol with either bright or regular lighting can be significantly improved by starting the shift earlier in the night, e.g.; at 21∶00 instead of 00∶00. Finally, the study predicts that people of the same chronotype, i.e. with identical sleep times in normal conditions, can have drastically different responses to shift work depending on their intrinsic circadian and homeostatic parameters.
In vitro, cerebellar Purkinje cells can intrinsically fire action potentials in a repeating trimodal or bimodal pattern. The trimodal pattern consists of tonic spiking, bursting, and quiescence. The bimodal pattern consists of tonic spiking and quiescence. It is unclear how these firing patterns are generated and what determines which firing pattern is selected. We have constructed a realistic biophysical Purkinje cell model that can replicate these patterns. In this model, Na+/K+ pump activity sets the Purkinje cell's operating mode. From rat cerebellar slices we present Purkinje whole cell recordings in the presence of ouabain, which irreversibly blocks the Na+/K+ pump. The model can replicate these recordings. We propose that Na+/K+ pump activity controls the intrinsic firing mode of cerbellar Purkinje cells.
The mechanisms of long-term synaptic maintenance are a key component to understanding the mechanism of long-term memory. From biological experiments, a hypothesis arose that repetitive stimuli with appropriate intervals are essential to maintain new synapses for periods of longer than a few days. We successfully reproduce the time-course of relative numbers of synapses with our mathematical model in the same conditions as biological experiments, which used Adenosine-3′, 5′-cyclic monophosphorothioate, Sp-isomer (Sp-cAMPS) as external stimuli. We also reproduce synaptic maintenance responsiveness to intervals of Sp-cAMPS treatment accompanied by PKA activation. The model suggests a possible mechanism of sustainable synaptogenesis which consists of two steps. First, the signal transduction from an external stimulus triggers the synthesis of a new signaling protein. Second, the new signaling protein is required for the next signal transduction with the same stimuli. As a result, the network component is modified from the first network, and a different signal is transferred which triggers the synthesis of another new signaling molecule. We refer to this hypothetical mechanism as network succession. We build our model on the basis of two hypotheses: (1) a multi-step network succession induces downregulation of SSH and COFILIN gene expression, which triggers the production of stable F-actin; (2) the formation of a complex of stable F-actin with Drebrin at PSD is the critical mechanism to achieve long-term synaptic maintenance. Our simulation shows that a three-step network succession is sufficient to reproduce sustainable synapses for a period longer than 14 days. When we change the network structure to a single step network, the model fails to follow the exact condition of repetitive signals to reproduce a sufficient number of synapses. Another advantage of the three-step network succession is that this system indicates a greater tolerance of parameter changes than the single step network.
GABAergic function of the subiculum is central to the regulation of hippocampal output activity. Subicular neuronal networks are indeed under potent control by local inhibition. However, information about the properties of GABAergic currents generated by neurons of this parahippocampal area in normal tissue is still missing. Here, we describe GABAA receptor (GABAAR)-mediated phasic and tonic currents generated by principal cells (PCs) and interneurons (INs) of the rat subiculum. We show that in spite of similar synaptic current densities, INs generate spontaneous IPSCs (sIPSCs) that occur less frequently and exhibit smaller charge transfer, thus receiving less synaptic total current than PCs. Further distinction of PCs between intrinsically bursting (IB) and regular-spiking (RS) neurons suggested that sIPSCs generated by the two PC sub-types are likely to be similar. PCs and INs are also controlled by a similar tonic inhibition. However, whereas a comparable tonic current density is found in RS cells and INs, IB neurons are constrained by a greater inhibitory tone. Finally, pharmacological blockade of GABAAR did not promote functional switch of RS neurons to IB mode, but influenced the bursting propensity of IB cells and released fast spiking activity in INs. Our findings reveal differences in GABAergic currents between PCs and INs as well as within PC sub-types. We propose that GABAergic inhibition may shape hippocampal output activity by providing cell type-specific fine-tuning of subicular excitatory and inhibitory drives.
For the purpose of elucidating the neural coding process based on the neural excitability mechanism, researchers have recently investigated the relationship between neural dynamics and the spike triggered stimulus ensemble (STE). Ermentrout et al. analytically derived the relational equation between the phase response curve (PRC) and the spike triggered average (STA). The STA is the first cumulant of the STE. However, in order to understand the neural function as the encoder more explicitly, it is necessary to elucidate the relationship between the PRC and higher-order cumulants of the STE. In this paper, we give a general formulation to relate the PRC and the nth moment of the STE. By using this formulation, we derive a relational equation between the PRC and the spike triggered covariance (STC), which is the covariance of the STE. We show the effectiveness of the relational equation through numerical simulations and use the equation to identify the feature space of the rat hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons from their PRCs. Our result suggests that the hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons oscillating in the theta frequency range are commonly sensitive to inputs composed of theta and gamma frequency components.
Sensorimotor control has traditionally been considered from a control theory perspective, without relation to neurobiology. In contrast, here we utilized a spiking-neuron model of motor cortex and trained it to perform a simple movement task, which consisted of rotating a single-joint “forearm” to a target. Learning was based on a reinforcement mechanism analogous to that of the dopamine system. This provided a global reward or punishment signal in response to decreasing or increasing distance from hand to target, respectively. Output was partially driven by Poisson motor babbling, creating stochastic movements that could then be shaped by learning. The virtual forearm consisted of a single segment rotated around an elbow joint, controlled by flexor and extensor muscles. The model consisted of 144 excitatory and 64 inhibitory event-based neurons, each with AMPA, NMDA, and GABA synapses. Proprioceptive cell input to this model encoded the 2 muscle lengths. Plasticity was only enabled in feedforward connections between input and output excitatory units, using spike-timing-dependent eligibility traces for synaptic credit or blame assignment. Learning resulted from a global 3-valued signal: reward (+1), no learning (0), or punishment (−1), corresponding to phasic increases, lack of change, or phasic decreases of dopaminergic cell firing, respectively. Successful learning only occurred when both reward and punishment were enabled. In this case, 5 target angles were learned successfully within 180 s of simulation time, with a median error of 8 degrees. Motor babbling allowed exploratory learning, but decreased the stability of the learned behavior, since the hand continued moving after reaching the target. Our model demonstrated that a global reinforcement signal, coupled with eligibility traces for synaptic plasticity, can train a spiking sensorimotor network to perform goal-directed motor behavior.