Journal of Computational Neuroscience

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 223–238 | Cite as

A computational model for motor pattern switching between taste-induced ingestion and rejection oromotor behaviors

  • Sharmila VenugopalEmail author
  • Joseph B. Travers
  • David H. Terman


The mechanism of switching activity patterns in a central pattern generator is fundamental to the generation of diverse motor behaviors. Based on what is known about a brainstem substrate mediating the oral components of ingestion and rejection, we use computational techniques to construct a hypothetical multifunctional network that switches between the motor outputs of ingestion (licking) and rejection (gaping). The network was constructed using single-compartment conductance-based models for individual neurons based on Hodgkin-Huxley formalism. Using a fast-slow reduction and geometric analysis we describe a mechanism for pattern switching between licks and gapes. The model supports the hypothesis that a single configuration of network connections can produce both activity patterns. It further predicts that prolonged inhibition of some network neurons could lead to a switch in network activity from licks to gapes.


Central pattern generator Brainstem Bursting oscillations 



This work was partially funded by NIH grant DC00417 (JBT) and NSF grant DMS0514356 (DT). This work was also partially funded by NSF grant under agreement number 0112050. We thank Praveen Shankar for helpful comments and technical assistance


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sharmila Venugopal
    • 1
    Email author
  • Joseph B. Travers
    • 2
  • David H. Terman
    • 3
  1. 1.Neuroscience Graduate Studies ProgramThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Department of Oral BiologyThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  3. 3.Department of Mathematics and Mathematical Biosciences InstituteThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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