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Network. 2006 Sep;17(3):253-76.

Attractor dynamics in a modular network model of neocortex.

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School of Numerical and Computer Science (CSC), Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden.


Starting from the hypothesis that the mammalian neocortex to a first approximation functions as an associative memory of the attractor network type, we formulate a quantitative computational model of neocortical layers 2/3. The model employs biophysically detailed multi-compartmental model neurons with conductance based synapses and includes pyramidal cells and two types of inhibitory interneurons, i.e., regular spiking non-pyramidal cells and basket cells. The simulated network has a minicolumnar as well as a hypercolumnar modular structure and we propose that minicolumns rather than single cells are the basic computational units in neocortex. The minicolumns are represented in full scale and synaptic input to the different types of model neurons is carefully matched to reproduce experimentally measured values and to allow a quantitative reproduction of single cell recordings. Several key phenomena seen experimentally in vitro and in vivo appear as emergent features of this model. It exhibits a robust and fast attractor dynamics with pattern completion and pattern rivalry and it suggests an explanation for the so-called attentional blink phenomenon. During assembly dynamics, the model faithfully reproduces several features of local UP states, as they have been experimentally observed in vitro, as well as oscillatory behavior similar to that observed in the neocortex.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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