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J Comput Neurosci. 2000 Jan-Feb;8(1):5-18.

Simulation studies of vestibular macular afferent-discharge patterns using a new, quasi-3-D finite volume method.

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NASA Ames Research Center and Ames Center for Bioinformatics Moffett Field, CA 94035, USA.


A quasi-three-dimensional finite-volume numerical simulator was developed to study passive voltage spread in vestibular macular afferents. The method, borrowed from computational fluid dynamics, discretizes events transpiring in small volumes over time. The afferent simulated had three calyces with processes. The number of processes and synapses, and direction and timing of synapse activation, were varied. Simultaneous synapse activation resulted in shortest latency, while directional activation (proximal to distal and distal to proximal) yielded most regular discharges. Color-coded visualizations showed that the simulator discretized events and demonstrated that discharge produced a distal spread of voltage from the spike initiator into the ending. The simulations indicate that directional input, morphology, and timing of synapse activation can affect discharge properties, as must also distal spread of voltage from the spike initiator. The finite volume method has generality and can be applied to more complex neurons to explore discrete synaptic effects in four dimensions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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