Multiple mechanisms switch an electrically coupled, synaptically inhibited neuron between competing rhythmic oscillators

Neuron. 2013 Mar 6;77(5):845-58. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.01.016.


Rhythmic oscillations are common features of nervous systems. One of the fundamental questions posed by these rhythms is how individual neurons or groups of neurons are recruited into different network oscillations. We modeled competing fast and slow oscillators connected to a hub neuron with electrical and inhibitory synapses. We explore the patterns of coordination shown in the network as a function of the electrical coupling and inhibitory synapse strengths with the help of a novel visualization method that we call the "parameterscape." The hub neuron can be switched between the fast and slow oscillators by multiple network mechanisms, indicating that a given change in network state can be achieved by degenerate cellular mechanisms. These results have importance for interpreting experiments employing optogenetic, genetic, and pharmacological manipulations to understand circuit dynamics.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Computer Simulation
  • Electrophysiological Phenomena / physiology*
  • Kinetics
  • Membrane Potentials / physiology
  • Models, Neurological
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Periodicity
  • Sensory Gating / physiology
  • Synapses / physiology*
  • Tongue / innervation
  • Tongue / physiology