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You are here: Home Events ANC/DTC Seminar: Gaute Einevoll, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB) (Host: Jim Bednar)

ANC/DTC Seminar: Gaute Einevoll, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB) (Host: Jim Bednar)

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Mechanistic modelling of thalamocortical visual and somatosensory processing

  • ANC/DTC Seminar
When Feb 12, 2013
from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Where IF 4.31/4.33
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Mathematical models in neuroscience can be categorized into three types: descriptive, mechanistic, and interpretive. Descriptive models are used to summarize experimental data compactly, while mechanistic models aim to account for the observed neural properties on the basis of known physiology and anatomy. Interpretive models aim instead to model the functional roles of neural systems, for example, relating neuronal responses to the task of processing useful information for the animal.

Following the introduction by Rodieck of the difference-of-Gaussians (DOG) model for the spatial receptive-field of retinal ganglion cells 50 years ago, most modeling of the response properties of cells in the early visual system have been descriptive. Numerous spatiotemporal receptive-field functions have been suggested, essentially identifying filter functions accounting for the signal processing done by the underlying neural networks. The (relatively few) studies of mechanistic models aimed at finding out how these filtering properties arise from the underlying neural  activity, have typically involved comprehensive numerical simulations of large network methods where the large number of (largely unknown) model parameters generally has precluded a thorough analysis of the model. Further, these models have typically not been available for reuse by other researchers.

In the talk I will present recent work from our group on the development and use of mechanistic, firing-rate based, models of thalamocortical processing in the visual [1,2]  and somatosensory pathways [3], in particular

  • our recent eDOG-model [1], extending the standard DOG model for firing-rate responses of LGN relay cell to incorporate cortical feedback effects,

  • a minimal model for exploration of the interplay of feedforward and feedback effects on temporal processing in LGN [2] (MATLAB GUI version available at ModelDB), and 

  • population models of thalamocortical and intracortical processing of whisker stimuli in somatosensory (barrel) cortex extracted from multielectrode recordings [3]. 


[1] G.T. Einevoll and H. E. Plesser: Extended difference-of-Gaussians model incorporating cortical feedback for relay cells in the lateral geniculate nucleus of cat, Cognitive Neurodyn 6, 307-324 (2012)

[2] E. Norheim, J. Wyller, E. Nordlie, and G.T. Einevoll: A minimal mechanistic model for temporal signal processing in the lateral geniculate nucleus,  Cognitive Neurodyn 6, 259-281 (2012).

[3] P. Blomquist, A. Devor, U.G. Indahl, I. Ulbert, G.T. Einevoll, and A.M. Dale: Estimation of thalamocortical and intracortical network models from joint thalamic single-electrode and cortical laminar-electrode recordings in the rat barrel system,  PLoS Comp Biology 5, e1000328 (2009)