Control of neural synchrony using channelrhodopsin-2: a computational study

J Comput Neurosci. 2011 Aug;31(1):87-103. doi: 10.1007/s10827-010-0296-6. Epub 2010 Dec 21.


In this paper, we present an optical stimulation based approach to induce 1:1 in-phase synchrony in a network of coupled interneurons wherein each interneuron expresses the light sensitive protein channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2). We begin with a transition rate model for the channel kinetics of ChR2 in response to light stimulation. We then define "functional optical time response curve (fOTRC)" as a measure of the response of a periodically firing interneuron (transfected with ChR2 ion channel) to a periodic light pulse stimulation. We specifically consider the case of unidirectionally coupled (UCI) network and propose an open loop control architecture that uses light as an actuation signal to induce 1:1 in-phase synchrony in the UCI network. Using general properties of the spike time response curves (STRCs) for Type-1 neuron model (Ermentrout, Neural Comput 8:979-1001, 1996) and fOTRC, we estimate the (open loop) optimal actuation signal parameters required to induce 1:1 in-phase synchrony. We then propose a closed loop controller architecture and a controller algorithm to robustly sustain stable 1:1 in-phase synchrony in the presence of unknown deviations in the network parameters. Finally, we test the performance of this closed-loop controller in a network of mutually coupled (MCI) interneurons.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Channelrhodopsins
  • Computer Simulation
  • Models, Neurological
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Synapses / physiology*


  • Channelrhodopsins