Feedback inhibition and throughput properties of an integrate-and-fire-or-burst network model of retinogeniculate transmission

J Comput Neurosci. 2005 Oct;19(2):147-80. doi: 10.1007/s10827-005-1084-6.


Computational modeling has played an important role in the dissection of the biophysical basis of rhythmic oscillations in thalamus that are associated with sleep and certain forms of epilepsy. In contrast, the dynamic filter properties of thalamic relay nuclei during states of arousal are not well understood. Here we present a modeling and simulation study of the throughput properties of the visually driven dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN) in the presence of feedback inhibition from the perigeniculate nucleus (PGN). We employ thalamocortical (TC) and thalamic reticular (RE) versions of a minimal integrate-and-fire-or-burst type model and a one-dimensional, two-layered network architecture. Potassium leakage conductances control the neuromodulatory state of the network and eliminate rhythmic bursting in the presence of spontaneous input (i.e., wake up the network). The aroused dLGN/PGN network model is subsequently stimulated by spatially homogeneous spontaneous retinal input or spatio-temporally patterned input consistent with the activity of X-type retinal ganglion cells during full-field or drifting grating visual stimulation. The throughput properties of this visually-driven dLGN/PGN network model are characterized and quantified as a function of stimulus parameters such as contrast, temporal frequency, and spatial frequency. During low-frequency oscillatory full-field stimulation, feedback inhibition from RE neurons often leads to TC neuron burst responses, while at high frequency tonic responses dominate. Depending on the average rate of stimulation, contrast level, and temporal frequency of modulation, the TC and RE cell bursts may or may not be phase-locked to the visual stimulus. During drifting-grating stimulation, phase-locked bursts often occur for sufficiently high contrast so long as the spatial period of the grating is not small compared to the synaptic footprint length, i.e., the spatial scale of the network connectivity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / drug effects
  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Feedback / physiology*
  • Geniculate Bodies / physiology*
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology
  • Neural Networks, Computer*
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Potassium / metabolism
  • Retina / physiology*
  • Sleep / physiology
  • Visual Pathways / physiology*
  • Wakefulness / physiology
  • alpha-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic Acid / pharmacology
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / pharmacology


  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • alpha-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic Acid
  • Potassium
  • Calcium