Response Functions for Electrically Coupled Neuronal Network: A Method of Local Point Matching and Its Applications

Biol Cybern. 2016 Jun;110(2-3):117-33. doi: 10.1007/s00422-016-0681-y. Epub 2016 Mar 18.

Abstract

Neuronal networks connected by electrical synapses, also referred to as gap junctions, are present throughout the entire central nervous system. Many instances of gap-junctional coupling are formed between dendritic arbours of individual cells, and these dendro-dendritic gap junctions are known to play an important role in mediating various brain rhythms in both normal and pathological states. The dynamics of such neuronal networks modelled by passive or quasi-active (resonant) membranes can be described by the Green's function which provides the fundamental input-output relationships of the entire network. One of the methods for calculating this response function is the so-called 'sum-over-trips' framework which enables the construction of the Green's function for an arbitrary network as a convergent infinite series solution. Here we propose an alternative and computationally efficient approach for constructing the Green's functions on dendro-dendritic gap junction-coupled neuronal networks which avoids any infinite terms in the solutions. Instead, the Green's function is constructed from the solution of a system of linear algebraic equations. We apply this new method to a number of systems including a simple single cell model and two-cell neuronal networks. We also demonstrate that the application of this novel approach allows one to reduce a model with complex dendritic formations to an equivalent model with a much simpler morphological structure.

Keywords: Dendrites; Gap junctions; Network dynamics; Sum-over-trips.

MeSH terms

  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain / physiology
  • Cybernetics
  • Dendrites / physiology
  • Electrical Synapses / metabolism*
  • Gap Junctions / physiology
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Nerve Net / physiology*