A computational model of the flow of activity in a vertically organized slab of cat primary visual cortex (area 17) has been developed. The membrane potential of each cell in the model, as a function of time, is given by the solution of a system of first order, coupled, non-linear differential equations. When firing threshold is exceeded, an action potential waveform is “pasted” in. The behavior of the model following a brief simulated stimulus to afferents from the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN) is explored. Excitatory and inhibitory post-synaptic potential (E and IPSP) latencies, as a function of cortical depth, were generated by the model. These data were compared with the experimental literature. In general, good agreement was found for EPSPs. Many disynaptic inhibitory inputs were found to be “masked” by the firing of action potentials in the model. To our knowledge this phenomenon has not been reported in the experimental literature. The model demonstrates that whether a cell exhibits disynaptic or polysynaptic PSP latencies is not a fixed consequence of anatomical connectivity, but rather, can be influenced by connection strengths, and may be influenced by the ongoing pattern of activity in the cortex.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Aidely DJ (1978) The physiology of excitable cells. Cambridge Unversity Press, Cambridge
Berry MS, Pentreath VW (1976) Criteria for distinguishing between monosynaptic and polysynaptic transmission. Brain Res 105:1–20
Brown TH, Johnston D (1983) Voltage-clamp analysis of mossy fiber synaptic input to hippocampal neurons. J Neurophysiol 50(2):487–507
Bullier J, Henry GH (1979) Ordinal position of neurons in cat striate cortex. J Neurophysiol 42(5):1251–1263
Bush PC, Douglas RJ (1991) Synchronization of bursting action potential discharge in a model network of neocortical neurons. Neural Computat 3:19–30
Chagnac-Amitai Y, Connors BW (1989) Horizontal spread of synchronized activity in neorcortex and its control by GABA mediated inhibition. J Neurophysiol 42(5):1271–1281
Connors BW, Butnick MJ, Prince DA (1982) Electrophysiological properties of neocortical neurons in vitro. J Neurophysiol 48:1302–1320
Connors BW, Malenka RC, Solva IR (1988) Two inhibitory postsynaptic potentials, and GABAa and GABAb receptor-mediated repsonses in neocortex of rat and cat. J Physiol 406:443–468
Connors BW, Gutnick MJ (1990) Intrinsic firing patterns of diverse neocortical neurons. Trends Neurosci 13(3):99–104
Douglas RJ, Martin KAC, Whitteridge D (1989) A canonical microcircuit for neocortex. Neural Computat 1:480–488
Douglas RJ, Martin KAC (1990) Neocortex In: Shepherd GM (ed) The synaptic organization of the brain, 3rd Edn. Oxford University Press, New York Oxford, pp 389–438
Ferster D, Lindström S (1983) An intracellular analysis of geniculocortical connectivity in area 17 of the cat. J Physiol 342:181–215
Freund TF, Martin KAC, Smith AD, Somogyi P (1983) Glutamate decarboxylase-immunoreactive terminals of Golgi-impregnated axoaxonix cells and of presumed basket cells in synaptic contact with pyramidal neurons of cat's visual cortex. J Comp Neurol 221:263–278
Gray CM, Singer W (1989) Stimulus-specific neuronal oscillations in orientation columns of cat visual cortex. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 86:1698–1702.
Gray CM, König P, Engel AK, Singer W (1989) Oscillatory responses in cat visual cortex exhibit inter-columnar synchronization which reflects global stimulus properties, nature 338:335–337.
Gremillion M, Mandell A, Travis B (1987) Neural nets with complex structure: a model of the visual system. Proc Int Conf Neural Networks (IEEE) 4:235–246
Hablitz JJ, Thalmann RH (1987) Conductance changes underlying a late synaptic hyperpolarization in hippocampal CA3 neurons. J Neurophysiol 58(1):160–179
Henry GH, Harvey AR, Lund JS (1979) On the afferent connections and laminar distribution of cells in the cat striate cortex. J Comp Neurol 187:725–744
Krone G, Mallot H, Palm G, Schüz A (1986) Spatiotemporal receptive fields: a dynamical model derived from cortical architectonics. Proc R Soc Lond B 226:421–444
MacDermott AB, Dale N (1987) Receptors, ion channels and synaptic potentials underlying the integrative actions of excitatory amino acids. Trends Neurosci 10(7):280–293
McCormick DA, Connors BW, Lighthall JW, and Prince DA (1985) Comparative electrophysiology of pyramidal and sparsely spiny stellate neurons of the neocortex. J Neurophysiol 54(4):782–806
McCormick DA (1990) Membrane properties and neurotransmitter actions. In: Shepherd GM (ed), The synaptic organization of the brain. Oxford Universidy Press, New York Oxford, pp 32–67
Miles R, Wong RKS (1986) Excitatory synaptic interactions between CA3 neurones in guinea-pig hippocampus. J Physiol 373:397–418
Miles R, Traub RD, Wong RKS (1988) Spread of synchronous firing in longitudinal slices from the CA3 region of the hippocampus. J Neurophys 60(4):1481–1496
Miles R (1990a) Variations in strength of inhibitory synapses in the CA3 region of guinea-pig hippocampus in vitro. J Physiol 431:659–676
Miles R (1990b) Synaptic excitation of inhibitory cells by single CA3 hippocampal pyramidal cells of the guinea-pig in vitro. J Physiol 428:61–77
Morrison JH, Magistretti PJ, Benoit R, and Bloom FE (1984) The distribution and morphological characteristics of intracortical VIP-positive cell: an immunohistochemical analysis. Brain Res 292:269–282
Peters A, Proskauer CC (1980) Synaptic relationship between a multipolar stellate cell and a pyramidal neuron in rat visual cortex: a combined Golgi-electron microscope study. J Neurocytol 9:163–183
Peters A, Kimerer LM (1981) Bipolar neurons in the rat visual cortex: a combined Golgi-electron microscope study. J Neurocytol 10:921–946
Shepherd GM (1979) The synaptic organization of the brain. Oxford University Press, New York
Stone J, Dreher B (1982) Parallel processing of information in the visual pathway. Trends Neurosci 5:441–446
Somogyi P, Cowey A (1981) Combined golgi and electron microscopic study on the synapses formed by double bouquet cells in the visual cortex of the cat and monkey. J Comp Neurol 195:547–566
Swadlow HA (1974) Systemic variations in the conduction velocity of slowly conducting axons in rabbit corpus callosum. Exp Neurol 43:445–451
Swadlow HA, Weyand TG, Waxman SG (1978) The cells of origin of the corpus callosum in rabbit visual cortex. Exp Neurol 43:445–451
Toyama K, Mastunami K, Ohno T, Tokashiki S (1974) An intracellular study of neuronal organization in the visual cortex. Exp Brain Res 21:45–66
Thomas E, Patton P, Wyatt RE (1991) A computational model of the vertical anatomical organization of primary visual cortex. Biol Cybern 65:189–202
Wehmeier U, Dong D, Koch C, Van Essen D (1989) Modeling the mammalian visual system. In: Koch C, Segev I (eds) Methods in Neuronal Modeling. MIT Press, Cambridge, pp 335–361
Wilson HR, Cowan JD (1973) A mathematical theory of the functional dynamics of cortical and thalamic nervous tissue. Kybernetik 13:55–80
Wyatt RE, Driver J (1991) Computational Brain Dynamics, Cray Channels, Fall 1991 issue
Supported by a grant from Cray Research Inc.
About this article
Cite this article
Patton, P., Thomas, E. & Wyatt, R.E. A computational model of vertical signal propagation in the primary visual cortex. Biol. Cybern. 68, 43–52 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00203136
- Membrane Potential
- Computational Model
- Signal Propagation
- Lateral Geniculate Nucleus
- Primary Visual Cortex