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PLoS Comput Biol. 2012;8(4):e1002489. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002489. Epub 2012 Apr 26.

Predictive features of persistent activity emergence in regular spiking and intrinsic bursting model neurons.

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1
Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology-IMBB, Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas-FORTH, Heraklion, Crete, Greece.

Abstract

Proper functioning of working memory involves the expression of stimulus-selective persistent activity in pyramidal neurons of the prefrontal cortex (PFC), which refers to neural activity that persists for seconds beyond the end of the stimulus. The mechanisms which PFC pyramidal neurons use to discriminate between preferred vs. neutral inputs at the cellular level are largely unknown. Moreover, the presence of pyramidal cell subtypes with different firing patterns, such as regular spiking and intrinsic bursting, raises the question as to what their distinct role might be in persistent firing in the PFC. Here, we use a compartmental modeling approach to search for discriminatory features in the properties of incoming stimuli to a PFC pyramidal neuron and/or its response that signal which of these stimuli will result in persistent activity emergence. Furthermore, we use our modeling approach to study cell-type specific differences in persistent activity properties, via implementing a regular spiking (RS) and an intrinsic bursting (IB) model neuron. We identify synaptic location within the basal dendrites as a feature of stimulus selectivity. Specifically, persistent activity-inducing stimuli consist of activated synapses that are located more distally from the soma compared to non-inducing stimuli, in both model cells. In addition, the action potential (AP) latency and the first few inter-spike-intervals of the neuronal response can be used to reliably detect inducing vs. non-inducing inputs, suggesting a potential mechanism by which downstream neurons can rapidly decode the upcoming emergence of persistent activity. While the two model neurons did not differ in the coding features of persistent activity emergence, the properties of persistent activity, such as the firing pattern and the duration of temporally-restricted persistent activity were distinct. Collectively, our results pinpoint to specific features of the neuronal response to a given stimulus that code for its ability to induce persistent activity and predict differential roles of RS and IB neurons in persistent activity expression.

PMID:
22570601
PMCID:
PMC3343116
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002489
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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