Gaute Einevoll: Towards multipurpose biophysics-based mathematical models of cortical circuits

University of Oslo & Norwegian University of Life Sciences ( Aas)


Starting with the work of Hodgkin and Huxley in the 1950s, we now have a fairly good understanding of how the spiking activity of neurons can be modelled mathematically. For cortical circuits the understanding is much more limited. Most network studies have considered stylized models with a single or a handful of neuronal populations consisting of identical neurons with statistically identical connection properties. However, real cortical networks have heterogeneous neural populations and much more structured synaptic connections. Unlike typical simplified cortical network models, real networks are also “multipurpose” in that they perform multiple functions. Historically the lack of computational resources has hampered the mathematical exploration of cortical networks. With the advent of modern supercomputers, however, simulations of networks comprising hundreds of thousands biologically detailed neurons are becoming feasible (Einevoll et al, Neuron, 2019). Further, a large-scale biologically network model of the mouse primary visual cortex comprising 230.000 neurons has recently been developed at the Allen Institute for Brain Science (Billeh et al, Neuron, 2020). Using this model as a starting point, I will discuss how we can move towards multipurpose models that incorporate the true biological complexity of cortical circuits and faithfully reproduce multiple experimental observables such as spiking activity, local field potentials or two-photon calcium imaging signals. Further, I will discuss how such validated comprehensive network models can be used to gain insights into the functioning of cortical circuits.


Organized by

Tilo Schwalger/Margret Franke

Location: BCCN Berlin, lecture hall, Philippstr. 13 Haus 6, 10115 Berlin

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