Barrel Cortex Microcircuit
Qian-Quan Sun PhD is a researcher at the
The laboratory of Neural Development and Learning at University of Wyoming, Laramie.
His research focuses on cortical microcircuits using anatomical and electrophysiological techniques.
He enlisted me to develop a simulation of the Barrel cortex using traced cells obtained in his laboratory to
test a hypothesis of synchronized firing of 'fast-spiking' (FS) cells due to gap junctions between them. The simulation
consisted of two FS cells and two Spiny Stellate (SS) cells interconnected with AMPA, NMDA and GABAa synapses as well
as gap junctions between the FS cells. Membrane biophysics was based on ( Fohlmeister JF, Coleman P.A. & Miller RF.
Modeling the repetitive firing of retinal ganglion cells. Brain Res. 1990 Mar 5;510(2):343-5. ) with modifications in
agreement with data reported by ( Beierlein M, Gibson JR, Connors BW Two dynamically distinct inhibitory networks in
layer 4 of the neocortex. J Neurophysiol. 2003 Nov;90(5):2987-3000 ) Further fine-tuning of the model followed uEPSP and
uIPSP data obtained in Dr. Sun's laboratory.
Panels from the simulation interface show (left) the cross-correlation function between
FS cells with gap junctions. On the right are tracings of two FS and two SS cells.