Implementing the cellular mechanisms of synaptic transmission in a neural mass model of the thalamocortical circuitry

sen Bhattacharya, Basabdatta (2013) Implementing the cellular mechanisms of synaptic transmission in a neural mass model of the thalamocortical circuitry. Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience, 7 (81). ISSN 1662-5188

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A novel direction to existing neural mass modeling technique is proposed where
the commonly used “alpha function” for representing synaptic transmission is
replaced by a kinetic framework of neurotransmitter and receptor dynamics.
The aim is to underpin neuro-transmission dynamics associated with abnormal
brain rhythms commonly observed in neurological and psychiatric disorders. An
existing thalamocortical neural mass model is modified by using the kinetic
Q1 framework for modeling synaptic transmission mediated by glutamatergic and GABA
(gamma-aminobutyric-acid)-ergic receptors. The model output is compared qualitatively
with existing literature on in vitro experimental studies of ferret thalamic slices, as
well as on single-neuron-level model based studies of neuro-receptor and transmitter
dynamics in the thalamocortical tissue. The results are consistent with these studies:
the activation of ligand-gated GABA receptors is essential for generation of spindle
waves in the model, while blocking this pathway leads to low-frequency synchronized
oscillations such as observed in slow-wave sleep; the frequency of spindle oscillations
increase with increased levels of post-synaptic membrane conductance for AMPA
(alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic-acid) receptors, and blocking this
pathway effects a quiescent model output. In terms of computational efficiency, the
simulation time is improved by a factor of 10 compared to a similar neural mass model
based on alpha functions. This implies a dramatic improvement in computational resources
for large-scale network simulation using this model. Thus, the model provides a platform
for correlating high-level brain oscillatory activity with low-level synaptic attributes, and
makes a significant contribution toward advancements in current neural mass modeling
paradigm as a potential computational tool to better the understanding of brain oscillations
in sickness and in health.

Keywords:neural mass model, thalamocortical circuitry, kinetic framework, brain oscillations, AMPA, GABA, Neural mass models, Brain, Kinetics, Tissue, Computer simulation, 4 aminobutyric acid receptor, AMPA receptor, absence, alpha rhythm, article, brain slice, ferret, lateral geniculate body, mathematical model, nerve cell membrane conductance, nerve cell network, nonhuman, postsynaptic potential, simulation, sleep spindle, slow brain wave, slow wave sleep, synapse, synaptic transmission, thalamocortical tract, thalamus reticular nucleus, theta rhythm
Subjects:G Mathematical and Computer Sciences > G730 Neural Computing
Divisions:College of Science > School of Engineering
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ID Code:10634
Deposited On:30 Jun 2013 20:03

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