Modeling of spontaneous activity in developing spinal cord using activity-dependent depression in an excitatory network

Joël Tabak, Walter Senn, Michael J. O'Donovan, John Rinzel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Spontaneous episodic activity is a general feature of developing neural networks. In the chick spinal cord, the activity comprises episodes of rhythmic discharge (duration 5-90 sec; cycle rate 0.1-2 Hz) that recur every 2-30 min. The activity does not depend on specialized connectivity or intrinsic bursting neurons and is generated by a network of functionally excitatory connections. Here, we develop an idealized, qualitative model of a homogeneous, excitatory recurrent network that could account for the multiple time-scale spontaneous activity in the embryonic chick spinal cord. We show that cycling can arise from the interplay between excitatory connectivity and fast synaptic depression. The slow episodic behavior is attributable to a slow activity-dependent network depression that is modeled either as a modulation of cellular excitability or as synaptic depression. Although the two descriptions share many features, the model with a slow synaptic depression accounts better for the experimental observations during blockade of excitatory synapses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3041-3056
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume20
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 15 2000

Keywords

  • Depression
  • Developing spinal network
  • Oscillations
  • Rate model
  • Recurrent excitation
  • Spontaneous activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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