Models of Cortical Networks
This chapter provides an overview of a long-term project undertaken to study a particular population of cells within the cortex: the network of interacting neurons within layer V of the visual cortex. The first step is the development of realistic models of single cortical neurons based on accurate anatomical and physiological data. The responses of these model neurons are matched against single neuron responses to natural sensory and electrical stimuli recorded in vivo. The second step is to reduce the complexity of the single-cell model for use in large-scale simulations of networks. The reduction is necessary to make the simulation times tractable. If the essential dynamical elements of the neuron are intact in the reduced models, simulations of large networks of neurons can then serve as a tool for exploring properties that are difficult to approach experimentally. Such a model was used to study the synchronization of layer V neurons and its dependence on the pattern of connectivity between columns of excitatory and inhibitory neurons.
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