Biological Cybernetics

, Volume 65, Issue 2, pp 81–90 | Cite as

A computer based model for realistic simulations of neural networks

I. The single neuron and synaptic interaction
  • Ö. Ekeberg
  • P. Wallén
  • A. Lansner
  • H. Tråvén
  • L. Brodin
  • S. Grillner


The use of computer simulations as a neurophysiological tool creates new possibilities to understand complex systems and to test whether a given model can explain experimental findings. Simulations, however, require a detailed specification of the model, including the nerve cell action potential and synaptic transmission. We describe a neuron model of intermediate complexity, with a small number of compartments representing the soma and the dendritic tree, and equipped with Na+, K+, Ca2+, and Ca2+ dependent K+ channels. Conductance changes in the different compartments are used to model conventional excitatory and inhibitory synaptic interactions. Voltage dependent NMDA-receptor channels are also included, and influence both the electrical conductance and the inflow of Ca2+ ions. This neuron model has been designed for the analysis of neural networks and specifically for the simulation of the network generating locomotion in a simple vertebrate, the lamprey. By assigning experimentally established properties to the simulated cells and their synapses, it has been possible to verify the sufficiency of these properties to account for a number of experimental findings of the network in operation. The model is, however, sufficiently general to be useful for realistic simulation also of other neural systems.


Neural Network Experimental Finding Nerve Cell Action Nerve Cell Synaptic Transmission 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ö. Ekeberg
    • 1
  • P. Wallén
    • 2
  • A. Lansner
    • 1
  • H. Tråvén
    • 1
  • L. Brodin
    • 2
  • S. Grillner
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Numerical Analysis and Computing ScienceRoyal Institute of TechnologyStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Nobel Institute for NeurophysiologyKarolinska InstituteStockholmSweden

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