MATHEMATICAL MODELING OF NEURAL ACTIVITY
The fantastic properties of the brain are due to an intricate interplay between billions of neurons (nerve cells) connected in a complex network. A central challenge is to understand this network behavior and establish connections between properties at the microscopic level (single neurons) and observed brain activity at the macroscopic systems level. After a brief introduction to the brain, cortex and neurons, various mathematical models describing single neurons are outlined: biophysically realistic compartmental models, simplified spiking neuron models and firing-rate models. Then examples of network modeling of the early visual system are described with particular emphasis on mechanistic (“physics-type”) modeling of the response of relay cells in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus to visual spot stimuli. Finally an example of cortical population modeling related to the question of the neural mechanism behind short-term memory, is given.
KeywordsGanglion Cell Retinal Ganglion Cell Primary Visual Cortex Thalamic Reticular Nucleus Relay Cell
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