Encyclopedia of Computational Neuroscience

Living Edition
| Editors: Dieter Jaeger, Ranu Jung

Cortical Columns, Models of

  • Sean HillEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7320-6_571-1

Definition

A cortical column is a module in the neocortex, approximately 300–600 μm in diameter, composed of many minicolumns coupled by short-range horizontal connections. Neurons within a column often share dynamic response properties. In general, a column is part of a continuous sheet of neocortex, where the boundaries of individual columns cannot be determined by anatomy alone, although there are exceptions such as the barrel field columns in rodent neocortex. Columns with similar response properties are often connected by long-range horizontal connections. Numerous efforts have been undertaken to develop computational models of the cortical column, which is often equated with the quest to identify the fundamental computational unit of the mammalian brain. These efforts span from highly simplified “mean-field” models that model interactions between homogeneous cell populations to detailed biophysical models with heterogeneous neuron morphologies and diverse electrophysiological...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Douglas RJ, Martin KA (1991) A functional microcircuit for cat visual cortex. J Physiol 440:735–769PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Helmstaedter M, de Kock CPJ, Feldmeyer D, Bruno RM, Sakmann B (2007) Reconstruction of an average cortical column in silico. Brain Res Rev 55(2):193–203PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Hill S, Tononi G (2005) Modeling sleep and wakefulness in the thalamocortical system. J Neurophysiol 93(3):1671–1698PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Hill SL, Wang Y, Riachi I, Schurmann F, Markram H (2012) PNAS plus: statistical connectivity provides a sufficient foundation for specific functional connectivity in neocortical neural microcircuits. Proc Natl Acad Sci 109(42):E2885–E2894. doi:10.1073/pnas.1202128109PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Horton JC, Adams DL (2005) The cortical column: a structure without a function. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 360(1456):837–862PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Hubel DH, Wiesel TN (1962) Receptive fields, binocular interaction and functional architecture in the cat’s visual cortex. J Physiol 160:106–154PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Hubel DH, Wiesel TN (1977) Functional architecture of macaque monkey cortex. Proc R Soc Lond B 198:1–59PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Lorente de Nó R (1938) Architectonics and structure of the cerebral cortex. In: Fulton JF (ed) Physiology of the nervous system. Oxford University Press, New York, pp 291–330Google Scholar
  9. Markram H (2006) The Blue Brain Project. Nat Rev Neurosci 7:153–160PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Mountcastle VB (1957) Modality and topographic properties of single neurons of cat’s somatic sensory cortex. J Neurophysiol 20:408–434PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Mountcastle VB (1998) Perceptual neuroscience. The cerebral cortex. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  12. Mountcastle VB, Davies PW, Berman AL (1957) Response properties of neurons of cat’s somatic sensory cortex to peripheral stimuli. J Neurophysiol 20:374–407PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Oberlaender M, de Kock CP, Bruno RM, Ramirez A, Meyer HS, Dercksen VJ, Helmstaedter M, Sakmann B (2012) Cell type-specific three-dimensional structure of thalamocortical circuits in a column of rat vibrissal cortex. Cereb Cortex 22(10):2375–2391PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Powell TPS, Mountcastle VB (1959) Some aspects of the functional organization of the cortex of the postcentral gyrus of the monkey: a correlation of findings obtained in a single unit analysis with cytoarchitecture. Bull Johns Hopkins Hosp 105:133–162PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Rakic P (1995) A small step for the cell, a giant leap for mankind: a hypothesis of neocortical expansion during evolution. Trends Neurosci 18(9):383–388PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Reimann MW, Anastassiou CA, Perin R, Hill SL, Markram H, Koch C (2013) A biophysically detailed model of neocortical local field potentials predicts the critical role of active membrane currents. Neuron 79(2):375–390PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Somers DC, Nelson SB, Sur M (1995) An emergent model of orientation selectivity in cat visual cortical simple cells. J Neurosci 15(8):5448–5465PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Traub RD, Contreras D, Cunningham MO, Murray H, LeBeau FE, Roopun A, Bibbig A, Wilent WB, Higley MJ, Whittington MA (2005) Single-column thalamocortical network model exhibiting gamma oscillations, sleep spindles, and epileptogenic bursts. J Neurophysiol 93(4):2194–2232PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Brain Mind Institute, École Polytechnique Fédérale de LausanneLausanneSwitzerland