Dependence of the input-firing rate curve of neural cells on extracellular ion concentrations

Plas, P. van der (2013) Dependence of the input-firing rate curve of neural cells on extracellular ion concentrations.

Abstract:The brain consists of 10.11 neurons. Each of these neurons is connected to about 7000 of other neurons, creating a complex and sophisticated network. Simulating such an enormous network, is computationally almost impossible, certainly when taking into account all the different parameters of each neuron. These parameters include the concentration of ions such as sodium, potassium, calcium and chloride, potentials of all the synapses and the potentials of each membrane (of each neuron). With the help of so called “neural mass models” however, properties of this network can still be researched. By combining the mean behaviour of groups of neurons the influence of ionic concentrations on patterns in the EEG can be explained. This can then be used to simulate the effect of a heart attack on the brain, in this context the research was also setup. During a heart attack the energy supply to each neuron is limited, causing the sodium-potassium pumps to stop. This in turn causes the extracellular potassium concentration to rise inside the brain; this chain of events will be explained in the chapter “single neuron behaviour”. This brings us to the goal of this thesis; finding the response of groups of neurons under various conditions for the concentrations of sodium and potassium. The task of this thesis is to calculate the behaviour of such a neural mass population. In order to do this the thesis starts with the theoretical analysis of the behaviour of a neuron in normal conditions and how neural mass models are constructed. The next step is to model this neuron, the chapter “Setup: model of the neuron” describes the numerical model that is used to investigate the electrical behaviour of a single cell. As the numerical model is finished, four experiments are conducted with it, as described in the chapter “Experiments/Simulations”. This results in linearized behaviour of the populations under varying ion concentrations.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:TNW: Science and Technology
Subject:33 physics
Programme:Applied Physics BSc (56962)
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