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CBN (Computational Biology and Neurocomputing) seminars

Neuronal avalanches and the corticostriatal network

by Jovana Bielic (CB/CSC/KTH and Bernstein Center, University of Freiburg)

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In order to determine how the striatum processes cortical neuronal avalanches, we simultaneously recorded spontaneous local field potentials (LFPs) in organotypic cortex-striatum-substantia nigra cultures from rat using high-density microelectrode arrays. In the cortex, we found that spontaneous neuronal avalanches can be characterized by spatiotemporal activity clusters with a cluster size distribution that follows a power law with exponent –1.5. Recording in the striatum revealed, that striatal activity was also characterized by spatiotemporal clusters that followed a power distributions albeit with significantly steeper slope, i.e., lacked large spatial clusters that are commonly expected for avalanche dynamics. To understand what controls the striatal LFP statistic observed in experiments, we developed abstract models of the corticostriatal network. Here we show that decorrelation of striatal activity could result from a particular mapping in the corticostriatal pathway and that local inhibition additionally decreases probability of large spatial clusters. To bridge from the abstract level we used a spiking network to study the influence of different cortical inputs and feedforward striatal inhibition to the experimentally observed striatal dynamics.