skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Buonomano, Dean V."

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Cortical computations emerge from the dynamics of neurons embedded in complex cortical circuits. Within these circuits, neuronal ensembles, which represent subnetworks with shared functional connectivity, emerge in an experience-dependent manner. Here we induced ensembles inex vivocortical circuits from mice of either sex by differentially activating subpopulations through chronic optogenetic stimulation. We observed a decrease in voltage correlation, and importantly a synaptic decoupling between the stimulated and nonstimulated populations. We also observed a decrease in firing rate during Up-states in the stimulated population. These ensemble-specific changes were accompanied by decreases in intrinsic excitability in the stimulated population, and a decrease in connectivity between stimulated and nonstimulated pyramidal neurons. By incorporating the empirically observed changes in intrinsic excitability and connectivity into a spiking neural network model, we were able to demonstrate that changes in both intrinsic excitability and connectivity accounted for the decreased firing rate, but only changes in connectivity accounted for the observed decorrelation. Our findings help ascertain the mechanisms underlying the ability of chronic patterned stimulation to create ensembles within cortical circuits and, importantly, show that while Up-states are a global network-wide phenomenon, functionally distinct ensembles can preserve their identity during Up-states through differential firing rates and correlations.

    SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENTThe connectivity and activity patterns of local cortical circuits are shaped by experience. This experience-dependent reorganization of cortical circuits is driven by complex interactions between different local learning rules, external input, and reciprocal feedback between many distinct brain areas. Here we used anex vivoapproach to demonstrate how simple forms of chronic external stimulation can shape local cortical circuits in terms of their correlated activity and functional connectivity. The absence of feedback between different brain areas and full control of external input allowed for a tractable system to study the underlying mechanisms and development of a computational model. Results show that differential stimulation of subpopulations of neurons significantly reshapes cortical circuits and forms subnetworks referred to as neuronal ensembles.

    more » « less
  2. Gutkin, Boris S. (Ed.)
    Converging evidence suggests the brain encodes time in dynamic patterns of neural activity, including neural sequences, ramping activity, and complex dynamics. Most temporal tasks, however, require more than just encoding time, and can have distinct computational requirements including the need to exhibit temporal scaling, generalize to novel contexts, or robustness to noise. It is not known how neural circuits can encode time and satisfy distinct computational requirements, nor is it known whether similar patterns of neural activity at the population level can exhibit dramatically different computational or generalization properties. To begin to answer these questions, we trained RNNs on two timing tasks based on behavioral studies. The tasks had different input structures but required producing identically timed output patterns. Using a novel framework we quantified whether RNNs encoded two intervals using either of three different timing strategies: scaling, absolute, or stimulus-specific dynamics. We found that similar neural dynamic patterns at the level of single intervals, could exhibit fundamentally different properties, including, generalization, the connectivity structure of the trained networks, and the contribution of excitatory and inhibitory neurons. Critically, depending on the task structure RNNs were better suited for generalization or robustness to noise. Further analysis revealed different connection patterns underlying the different regimes. Our results predict that apparently similar neural dynamic patterns at the population level (e.g., neural sequences) can exhibit fundamentally different computational properties in regards to their ability to generalize to novel stimuli and their robustness to noise—and that these differences are associated with differences in network connectivity and distinct contributions of excitatory and inhibitory neurons. We also predict that the task structure used in different experimental studies accounts for some of the experimentally observed variability in how networks encode time. 
    more » « less
  3. null (Ed.)