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Workshop: Jean-Luc Stevens and Thomas Suslak, Chair: Dagmara Panas

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  • ANC Workshop Talk
When Apr 16, 2013
from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Where IF 4.31/4.33
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Jean-Luc Stevens

Mechanisms for stable, robust, and adaptive development of orientation maps in the primary visual cortex

Development of orientation maps in primary visual cortex (V1) is stable (early map recordings are similar in structure to the adult map), robust (similar maps develop in different visual environments), and yet adaptive (the final map reflects the statistics of the visual environment).

How can these three properties be reconciled? We explore here a series of simple models, starting with a simple laterally-connected model, to which we introduce contrast-gain control and single unit homeostatic
(threshold) adaptation. Using a novel metric to automatically assess the quality of simulated maps, together with measures of stability and selectivity, we show that these mechanisms play an essential role in ensuring both stable and robust orientation map development.

Our final model (GCAL) is both simple and uses biologically-plausible mechanisms to achieve stability and robustness, and we believe this model is a suitable platform for future models of feature map development in V1.



Thomas Suslak

Modelling primary mechanotransduction at the afferent terminal

Mechanotransduction is a fundamental, biological process, essential to a variety of processes, from hearing to blood pressure regulation, yet the molecular entities involved in primary mechanotransduction in the afferent endings, are still largely unknown. Understanding these mechanotransducers is fundamental to tackling disorders of mechanosensation.
A mathematical model has been constructed, which describes the electrophysiological behaviour of a class of primary mechanosensory endings as a function of the ion channels which mediate this output. The model describes the classes of ion channels required for the electrical behaviour of these neurons and predicts the behavioural effects of channel inhibition. This model has subsequently been confirmed via whole-cell recordings from these neurons, paving the way for its use in identifying the molecular components which govern primary mechanosensation, via experimental means.