Excitation-inhibition discoordination in rodent models of mental disorders

Biol Psychiatry. 2015 Jun 15;77(12):1079-88. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2015.03.013. Epub 2015 Mar 18.


Animal models of mental illness provide a foundation for evaluating hypotheses for the mechanistic causes of mental illness. Neurophysiological investigations of neural network activity in rodent models of mental dysfunction are reviewed from the conceptual framework of the discoordination hypothesis, which asserts that failures of neural coordination cause cognitive deficits in the judicious processing and use of information. Abnormal dynamic coordination of excitatory and inhibitory neural discharge in pharmacologic and genetic rodent models supports the discoordination hypothesis. These observations suggest excitation-inhibition discoordination and aberrant neural circuit dynamics as causes of cognitive impairment, as well as therapeutic targets for cognition-promoting treatments.

Keywords: Discoordination; Excitation-inhibition coupling; Neural coordination; Neural ensemble; Neural synchrony; Oscillations.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Brain Waves / physiology*
  • Cortical Synchronization
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neural Inhibition*
  • Neurons / physiology*