Neural Engineering

Transformative Technologies

Work Package: WP6
Programme: P15
Deliverable: 15.2: “Robustness of collective solutions to the introduction of delay and inhomogeneities”

Deliverable due date: month 40

This document reports on the progress of work on Deliverable 15.2. All the planned tasks related to this Deliverable have been accomplished. Obtained results have led to the publication of one scientific article submitted in July 2015 to peer reviewed journals “PLOS Computational Biology” and accepted for publication in January 2016. The article will be published soon under the Open Access policy, which will make it accessible with no restrictions. Namely:
D. Angulo-Garcia, J.D. Berke, and A. Torcini, "Cell assembly dynamics of sparsely-connected inhibitory networks: a simple model for the collective activity of striatal projection neurons", PLOS Computational Biology (2015). The article preprint can be downloaded from http://biorxiv.org/content/early/2016/01/13/036608
A prototype of a simulator of a simple model for the Medium Spiny neurons dynamics is available at the following link http://neuro.fi.isc.cnr.it/index.php?page=Talks and it represents a basis for future developments.
The above mentioned publication and the prototype are a scientific part of the Deliverable 15.2 and this “Project Deliverable Report” document focuses on their relations to the NETT proposal.

In the NETT 289146 Grant Annex, we stated in the context of Deliverable 15.1, and 15.2: “The principal aim of these projects is to study collective emergent dynamics in neural networks where neurons are represented by means of simple models. P15 plans to realise cultured neuronal networks with predefined topologies and to investigate, by employing multi electrode arrays technique, the possible emergence of coherent states in networks of cultured rat neurons.”
In the aforementioned publication we mimicked the collective dynamics in of Medium Spiny Neurons in the striatum by employing extremely simple neuronal models. In particular, we have been able to reproduce the dynamics observed “in vitro” in slices of rat striatum perfused with NMDA or Bicucculine (Carrillo-Reid et al, J. Neurophysiology (2008)). Our model has revealed dynamical features typical of the striatum in normal condition, as well as features observed in rats displaying symptoms of the Parkinson and of the Huntington disease. The simplicity of the model has allowed us to identify specific synaptic characteristic which could be related to the abnormal dynamics observed in the rats affected by the above mentioned neural diseases.
In such a way we accomplish Deliverable 15.2 and in particular the study of “collective emergent dynamics in neural networks where neurons are represented by means of simple models” and of “neuronal networks with predefined topologies to investigate the possible emergence of coherent states in” in vitro measurements of slices of the striatum of “rat neurons”.
This work also covers milestone 17.

Contributors: David Angulo-Garcia, Alessandro Torcini