Network bursts in cortical cultures are best simulated using pacemaker neurons and adaptive synapses

T. Gritsun, Jakob le Feber, J. Stegenga, Wim Rutten

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    32 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    One of the most specific and exhibited features in the electrical activity of dissociated cultured neural networks is the phenomenon of synchronized bursts, whose profiles vary widely in shape, width and firing rate. On the way to understanding the organization and behavior of biological NNs, we reproduced those features with random connectivity network models with 5,000 neurons. While the common approach to induce bursting behavior in neuronal network models is noise injection, there is experimental evidence suggesting the existence of pacemaker-like neurons. In our simulations noise did evoke bursts, but with an unrealistically gentle rising slope. We show that a small subset of ‘pacemaker’ neurons can trigger bursts with a more realistic profile. We found that adding pacemaker-like neurons as well as adaptive synapses yield burst features (shape, width, and height of the main phase) in the same ranges as obtained experimentally. Finally, we demonstrate how changes in network connectivity, transmission delays, and excitatory fraction influence network burst features quantitatively.
    Original languageUndefined
    Article number10.1007/s00422-010-0366-x
    Pages (from-to)293-310
    Number of pages18
    JournalBiological cybernetics
    Volume102
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2010

    Keywords

    • EWI-18209
    • IR-72463
    • METIS-270937
    • Recurrent neural networks · Cultured neuronal networks · Pacemaker cells · Network bursts

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