Simmulations that illustrate the application of simple kinetic models
for excitatory and inhibitory synaptic currents. These simulations
are related to the following paper:
Destexhe, A., Mainen, Z.F. and Sejnowski, T.J. An efficient method for
computing synaptic conductances based on a kinetic model of receptor binding
Neural Computation 6: 10-14, 1994.
(see postscript file synapse.ps.Z)
( or pdf at http://cns.iaf.cnrs-gif.fr/abstracts/synapse.html )
This directory contains all the files needed to run the simulations
using the Interviews version of NEURON. These files are commented and
should run straighforwardly, provided the NEURON simulator is
The kinetic synapse mechanism
This mechanisms has the following properties:
1. It is based on a simple kinetic scheme of binding of transmitter on
postsynaptic receptors. This description has the advantage that
it is fully compatible with the level of description used for other
mechanisms (Hodgkin-Huxley currents, calcium diffusion, etc).
2. The mechanism gives EPSP's or IPSP's from a pulse of transmitter.
The waveform of these PSP's is very close to EPSP's or IPSP's measured
experimentally, and the decay is monoexponential. The user can set all
the parameters corresponding to the rising phase, decay, amplitude, etc...
(see .mod files)
3. Summation of consecutive PSP's is handled automatically by the
mechanism without need for an explicit event cue.
4. Each synapse has a state variable corresponding to the fraction of
postsynaptic receptors in the open state. However, the kinetics are
first order, and so can be solved exactly. This has the important
advantage that it can be fit very easily to experimental recordings
(see J. Computational Neurosci. paper).
5. Finally, this mechanism is very fast to compute. It does not require
solving any differential equations; at any given time only one exponential
is calculated per synapse. Thus, the mechanism is as fast to compute as
optimized versions of alpha function-based models.
How to run the simulation
This directory contains the files necessary to run a simulation such as
illustrated in Fig.1 of the Neural Computation paper.
To compile the demo, NEURON and INTERVIEWS must be installed and working on
the machine you are using. Just type "nrnivmodl" to compile the mechanisms
given in the mod files (glutamate.mod and gaba.mod are the mechanisms
for glutamate and gaba synapses, and HH.mod is the Hodgkin-Huxley kinetics).
Then, execute one of the two example files by typing:
special demo_glutamate_neuralcomputation.oc -
special demo_gaba_neuralcomputation.oc -
Once the menu and graphics interface has appeared, click on "Init and Run"
button to start the simulation...
All these simulations were done using the NEURON simulator written by
Michael Hines, and which is available freely on internet via anonymous
ftp from neuron.neuro.duke.edu:/neuron. For more information about how
to get NEURON and how to install it, please refer to the following sites:
For further information, please contact:
The Salk Institute
Computational Neurobiology Laboratory
10010 North Torrey Pines Road
La Jolla CA 92037, USA
Department of Physiology
Quebec G1K 7P4