Models that contain the Implementer : Humphries, Mark D [m.d.humphries at shef.ac.uk]

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    Models   Description
1.  Basal ganglia-thalamocortical loop model of action selection (Humphries and Gurney 2002)
We embed our basal ganglia model into a wider circuit containing the motor thalamocortical loop and thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN). Simulation of this extended model showed that the additions gave five main results which are desirable in a selection/switching mechanism. First, low salience actions (i.e. those with low urgency) could be selected. Second, the range of salience values over which actions could be switched between was increased. Third, the contrast between the selected and non-selected actions was enhanced via improved differentiation of outputs from the BG. Fourth, transient increases in the salience of a non-selected action were prevented from interrupting the ongoing action, unless the transient was of sufficient magnitude. Finally, the selection of the ongoing action persisted when a new closely matched salience action became active. The first result was facilitated by the thalamocortical loop; the rest were dependent on the presence of the TRN. Thus, we conclude that the results are consistent with these structures having clearly defined functions in action selection.
2.  Dopamine-modulated medium spiny neuron, reduced model (Humphries et al. 2009)
We extended Izhikevich's reduced model of the striatal medium spiny neuron (MSN) to account for dopaminergic modulation of its intrinsic ion channels and synaptic inputs. We tuned our D1 and D2 receptor MSN models using data from a recent (Moyer et al, 2007) large-scale compartmental model. Our new models capture the input-output relationships for both current injection and spiking input with remarkable accuracy, despite the order of magnitude decrease in system size. They also capture the paired pulse facilitation shown by MSNs. Our dopamine models predict that synaptic effects dominate intrinsic effects for all levels of D1 and D2 receptor activation. Our analytical work on these models predicts that the MSN is never bistable. Nonetheless, these MSN models can produce a spontaneously bimodal membrane potential similar to that recently observed in vitro following application of NMDA agonists. We demonstrate that this bimodality is created by modelling the agonist effects as slow, irregular and massive jumps in NMDA conductance and, rather than a form of bistability, is due to the voltage-dependent blockade of NMDA receptors
3.  Medial reticular formation of the brainstem: anatomy and dynamics (Humphries et al. 2006, 2007)
A set of models to study the medial reticular formation (mRF) of the brainstem. We developed a collection of algorithms to derive the adult-state wiring of the model: one set a stochastic model; the other set mimicking the developmental process. We found that the anatomical models had small-world properties, irrespective of the choice of algorithm; and that the cluster-like organisation of the mRF may have arisen to minimise wiring costs. (The model code includes options to be run as dynamic models; papers examining these dynamics are included in the .zip file).
4.  Population-level model of the basal ganglia and action selection (Gurney et al 2001, 2004)
We proposed a new functional architecture for the basal ganglia (BG) based on the premise that these brain structures play a central role in behavioural action selection. The papers quantitatively describes the properties of the model using analysis and simulation. In the first paper, we show that the decomposition of the BG into selection and control pathways is supported in several ways. First, several elegant features are exposed--capacity scaling, enhanced selectivity and synergistic dopamine modulation--which might be expected to exist in a well designed action selection mechanism. Second, good matches between model GPe output and GPi and SNr output, and neurophysiological data, have been found. Third, the behaviour of the model as a signal selection mechanism has parallels with some kinds of action selection observed in animals under various levels of dopaminergic modulation. In the second paper, we extend the BG model to include new connections, and show that action selection is maintained. In addition, we provide quantitative measures for defining different forms of selection, and methods for assessing performance changes in computational neuroscience models.
5.  Spiking neuron model of the basal ganglia (Humphries et al 2006)
A spiking neuron model of the basal ganglia (BG) circuit (striatum, STN, GP, SNr). Includes: parallel anatomical channels; tonic dopamine; dopamine receptors in striatum, STN, and GP; burst-firing in STN; GABAa, AMPA, and NMDA currents; effects of synaptic location. Model demonstrates selection and switching of input signals. Replicates experimental data on changes in slow-wave (<1 Hz) and gamma-band oscillations within BG nuclei following lesions and pharmacological manipulations.
6.  Striatal GABAergic microcircuit, dopamine-modulated cell assemblies (Humphries et al. 2009)
To begin identifying potential dynamically-defined computational elements within the striatum, we constructed a new three-dimensional model of the striatal microcircuit's connectivity, and instantiated this with our dopamine-modulated neuron models of the MSNs and FSIs. A new model of gap junctions between the FSIs was introduced and tuned to experimental data. We introduced a novel multiple spike-train analysis method, and apply this to the outputs of the model to find groups of synchronised neurons at multiple time-scales. We found that, with realistic in vivo background input, small assemblies of synchronised MSNs spontaneously appeared, consistent with experimental observations, and that the number of assemblies and the time-scale of synchronisation was strongly dependent on the simulated concentration of dopamine. We also showed that feed-forward inhibition from the FSIs counter-intuitively increases the firing rate of the MSNs.
7.  Striatal GABAergic microcircuit, spatial scales of dynamics (Humphries et al, 2010)
The main thrust of this paper was the development of the 3D anatomical network of the striatum's GABAergic microcircuit. We grew dendrite and axon models for the MSNs and FSIs and extracted probabilities for the presence of these neurites as a function of distance from the soma. From these, we found the probabilities of intersection between the neurites of two neurons given their inter-somatic distance, and used these to construct three-dimensional striatal networks. These networks were examined for their predictions for the distributions of the numbers and distances of connections for all the connections in the microcircuit. We then combined the neuron models from a previous model (Humphries et al, 2009; ModelDB ID: 128874) with the new anatomical model. We used this new complete striatal model to examine the impact of the anatomical network on the firing properties of the MSN and FSI populations, and to study the influence of all the inputs to one MSN within the network.

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