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J Neurophysiol. 2000 Oct;84(4):1863-8.

Oscillations and long-lasting correlations in a model of the lateral geniculate nucleus and visual cortex.

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Department of Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.


We have previously developed a model of the corticogeniculate system to explore cortically induced synchronization of lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) neurons. Our model was based on the experiments of Sillito et al. Recently Brody discovered that the LGN events found by Sillito et al. correlate over a much longer period of time than expected from the stimulus-driven responses and proposed a cortically induced slow covariation in LGN cell membrane potentials to account for this phenomenon. We have examined the data from our model, and we found, to our surprise, that the model shows the same long-term correlation. The model's behavior was the result of a previously unsuspected oscillatory effect, not a slow covariation. The oscillations were in the same frequency range as the well-known spindle oscillations of the thalamocortical system. In the model, the strength of feedback inhibition from the cortex and the presence of low-threshold calcium channels in LGN cells were important. We also found that by making the oscillations more pronounced, we could get a better fit to the experimental data.

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