To explore the relationship between conductances,
and in particular how they influence the activity of motor neurons in
the well characterized leech heartbeat system, we developed a new
multi-compartmental Hodgkin-Huxley style leech heart motor neuron
To do so, we evolved a population of model instances, which
differed in the density of specific conductances, capable of achieving
specific output activity targets given an associated input pattern.
We found that the strengths of many conductances,
including those with differing dynamics, had strong partial
correlations and that these relationships appeared to be linked by
their influence on heart motor neuron activity.
Conductances that had
positive correlations opposed one another and had the opposite effects
on activity metrics when perturbed whereas conductances that had
negative correlations could compensate for one another and had similar
effects on activity metrics.