Indexed on: 17 Dec '09Published on: 17 Dec '09Published in: Biological Cybernetics
Chopper neurons in the cochlear nucleus are characterized by intrinsic oscillations with short average interspike intervals (ISIs) and relative level independence of their response (Pfeiffer, Exp Brain Res 1:220-235, 1966; Blackburn and Sachs, J Neurophysiol 62:1303-1329, 1989), properties which are unattained by models of single chopper neurons (e.g., Rothman and Manis, J Neurophysiol 89:3070-3082, 2003a). In order to achieve short ISIs, we optimized the time constants of Rothman and Manis single neuron model with genetic algorithms. Some parameters in the optimization, such as the temperature and the capacity of the cell, turned out to be crucial for the required acceleration of their response. In order to achieve the relative level independence, we have simulated an interconnected network consisting of Rothman and Manis neurons. The results indicate that by stabilization of intrinsic oscillations, it is possible to simulate the physiologically observed level independence of ISIs. As previously reviewed and demonstrated (Bahmer and Langner, Biol Cybern 95:371-379, 2006a), chopper neurons show a preference for ISIs which are multiples of 0.4 ms. It was also demonstrated that the network consisting of two optimized Rothman and Manis neurons which activate each other with synaptic delays of 0.4 ms shows a preference for ISIs of 0.8 ms. Oscillations with various multiples of 0.4 ms as ISIs may be derived from neurons in a more complex network that is activated by simultaneous input of an onset neuron and several auditory nerve fibers.