A model for cerebral cortical neuron group electric activity and its implications for cerebral function
Author(s)Karameh, Fadi Nabih
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Munther A. Dahleh and Steve G. Massaquoi.
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The electroencephalogram, or EEG, is a recording of the field potential generated by the electric activity of neuronal populations of the brain. Its utility has long been recognized as a monitor which reflects the vigilance states of the brain, such as arousal, drowsiness, and sleep stages. Moreover, it is used to detect pathological conditions such as seizures, to calibrate drug action during anesthesia, and to understand cognitive task signatures in healthy and abnormal subjects. Being an aggregate measure of neural activity, understanding the neural origins of EEG oscillations has been limited. With the advent of recording techniques, however, and as an influx of experimental evidence on cellular and network properties of the neocortex has become available, a closer look into the neuronal mechanisms for EEG generation is warranted. Accordingly, we introduce an effective neuronal skeleton circuit at a neuronal group level which could reproduce basic EEG-observable slow (< 15 Hz) oscillatory phenomenon. The circuit incorporates basic laminar organization principles of the cortex. Interaction between neuronal groups is defined on three scales, namely the columnar (0.3mm), columnar assembly (1-2mm) and areal (> 3mm). The effective circuit makes use of the dynamic properties of the layer 5 network to explain intra-cortically generated augmenting responses, restful alpha, slow wave (< 1Hz) oscillations, and disinhibition-induced seizures. Based on recent cellular evidence, we propose a hierarchical binding mechanism in tufted layer 5 cells which acts as a controlled gate between local cortical activity and inputs arriving from distant cortical areas. This gate is manifested by the switch in output firing patterns in tufted(cont.) layer 5 cells between burst firing and regular spiking, with specific implications on local functional connectivity. This hypothesized mechanism provides an explanation of different alpha band (10Hz) oscillations observed recently under cognitive states. In particular, evoked alpha rhythms, which occur transiently after an input stimulus, could account for initial reogranization of local neural activity based on (mis)match between driving inputs and modulatory feedback of higher order cortical structures, or internal expectations. Emitted alpha rhythms, on the other hand, is an example of extreme attention where dominance of higher order control inputs could drive reorganization of local cortical activity. Finally, the model makes predictions on the role of burst firing patterns in tufted layer 5 cells in redefining local cortical dynamics, based on internal representations, as a prelude to high frequency oscillations observed in various sensory systems during cognition.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, 2002.Includes bibliographical references (p. 245-265).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.