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J Physiol Paris. 2004 Jul-Nov;98(4-6):540-58. Epub 2005 Nov 9.

Exploring spike transfer through the thalamus using hybrid artificial-biological neuronal networks.

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Unité de Neurosciences Intégratives et Computationnelles (UNIC), CNRS UPR 2191, Institut de Neurobiologie Alfred Fessard, Gif-sur-Yvette, France.


We use dynamic clamp to construct "hybrid" thalamic circuits by connecting a biological neuron in situ to silicon- or software-generated "neurons" through artificial synapses. The purpose is to explore cellular sensory gating mechanisms that regulate the transfer efficiency of signals during different sleep-wake states. Hybrid technology is applied in vitro to different paradigms such as: (1) simulating interactions between biological thalamocortical neurons, artificial reticular thalamic inhibitory interneurons and a simulated sensory input, (2) grafting an artificial sensory input to a wholly biological thalamic network that generates spontaneous sleep-like oscillations, (3) injecting in thalamocortical neurons a background synaptic bombardment mimicking the activity of corticothalamic inputs. We show that the graded control of the strength of intrathalamic inhibition, combined with the membrane polarization and the fluctuating synaptic noise in thalamocortical neurons, is able to govern functional shifts between different input/output transmission states of the thalamic gate.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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