Interactions between membrane conductances underlying thalamocortical
Alain Destexhe and Terrence Sejnowski
Physiological Reviews 83: 1401-1453, 2003.
Neurons of the central nervous system display a broad spectrum of intrinsic
electrophysiological properties that are absent in the traditional
``integrate-and-fire'' model. A network of neurons with these properties
interacting through synaptic receptors with many time scales can produce
complex patterns of activity that cannot be intuitively predicted.
Computational methods, tightly linked to experimental data, provide insights
into the dynamics of neural networks. We review this approach for the case of
bursting neurons of the thalamus, with a focus on thalamic and thalamocortical
slow-wave oscillations. At the single-cell level, intrinsic bursting or
oscillations can be explained by interactions between calcium-- and
voltage-dependent channels. At the network level, the genesis of
oscillations, their initiation, propagation, termination and large-scale
synchrony can be explained by interactions between neurons with a variety of
intrinsic cellular properties through different types of synaptic receptors.
These interactions can be altered by neuromodulators, which can dramatically
shift the large-scale behavior of the network, and can also be disrupted in
many ways, resulting in pathological patterns of activity, such as seizures.
We suggest a coherent framework that accounts for a large body of experimental
data at the ion-channel, single-cell and network levels. This framework
suggests physiological roles for the highly synchronized oscillations of
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