Assessing neuronal interactions of cell assemblies during general anesthesia

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2011;2011:4175-8. doi: 10.1109/IEMBS.2011.6091036.


Understanding the way in which groups of cortical neurons change their individual and mutual firing activity during the induction of general anesthesia may improve the safe usage of many anesthetic agents. Assessing neuronal interactions within cell assemblies during anesthesia may be useful for understanding the neural mechanisms of general anesthesia. Here, a point process generalized linear model (PPGLM) was applied to infer the functional connectivity of neuronal ensembles during both baseline and anesthesia, in which neuronal firing rates and network connectivity might change dramatically. A hierarchical Bayesian modeling approach combined with a variational Bayes (VB) algorithm is used for statistical inference. The effectiveness of our approach is evaluated with synthetic spike train data drawn from small and medium-size networks (consisting of up to 200 neurons), which are simulated using biophysical voltage-gated conductance models. We further apply the analysis to experimental spike train data recorded from rats' barrel cortex during both active behavior and isoflurane anesthesia conditions. Our results suggest that that neuronal interactions of both putative excitatory and inhibitory connections are reduced after the induction of isoflurane anesthesia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Anesthesia, General*
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / physiology*