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  1. Rubin, Jonathan (Ed.)
    Theta and gamma oscillations in the hippocampus have been hypothesized to play a role in the encoding and retrieval of memories. Recently, it was shown that an intrinsic fast gamma mechanism in medial entorhinal cortex can be recruited by optogenetic stimulation at theta frequencies, which can persist with fast excitatory synaptic transmission blocked, suggesting a contribution of interneuronal network gamma (ING). We calibrated the passive and active properties of a 100-neuron model network to capture the range of passive properties and frequency/current relationships of experimentally recorded PV+ neurons in the medial entorhinal cortex (mEC). The strength and probabilities of chemical and electrical synapses were also calibrated using paired recordings, as were the kinetics and short-term depression (STD) of the chemical synapses. Gap junctions that contribute a noticeable fraction of the input resistance were required for synchrony with hyperpolarizing inhibition; these networks exhibited theta-nested high frequency oscillations similar to the putative ING observed experimentally in the optogenetically-driven PV-ChR2 mice. With STD included in the model, the network desynchronized at frequencies above ~200 Hz, so for sufficiently strong drive, fast oscillations were only observed before the peak of the theta. Because hyperpolarizing synapses provide a synchronizing drive that contributes to robustness in the presence of heterogeneity, synchronization decreases as the hyperpolarizing inhibition becomes weaker. In contrast, networks with shunting inhibition required non-physiological levels of gap junctions to synchronize using conduction delays within the measured range. 
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  2. Rubin, Jonathan (Ed.)
    Constraining the many biological parameters that govern cortical dynamics is computationally and conceptually difficult because of the curse of dimensionality. This paper addresses these challenges by proposing (1) a novel data-informed mean-field (MF) approach to efficiently map the parameter space of network models; and (2) an organizing principle for studying parameter space that enables the extraction biologically meaningful relations from this high-dimensional data. We illustrate these ideas using a large-scale network model of the Macaque primary visual cortex. Of the 10-20 model parameters, we identify 7 that are especially poorly constrained, and use the MF algorithm in (1) to discover the firing rate contours in this 7D parameter cube. Defining a “biologically plausible” region to consist of parameters that exhibit spontaneous Excitatory and Inhibitory firing rates compatible with experimental values, we find that this region is a slightly thickened codimension-1 submanifold. An implication of this finding is that while plausible regimes depend sensitively on parameters, they are also robust and flexible provided one compensates appropriately when parameters are varied. Our organizing principle for conceptualizing parameter dependence is to focus on certain 2D parameter planes that govern lateral inhibition: Intersecting these planes with the biologically plausible region leads to very simple geometric structures which, when suitably scaled, have a universal character independent of where the intersections are taken. In addition to elucidating the geometry of the plausible region, this invariance suggests useful approximate scaling relations. Our study offers, for the first time, a complete characterization of the set of all biologically plausible parameters for a detailed cortical model, which has been out of reach due to the high dimensionality of parameter space. 
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  3. Rubin, Jonathan (Ed.)
    Theta and gamma rhythms and their cross-frequency coupling play critical roles in perception, attention, learning, and memory. Available data suggest that forebrain acetylcholine (ACh) signaling promotes theta-gamma coupling, although the mechanism has not been identified. Recent evidence suggests that cholinergic signaling is both temporally and spatially constrained, in contrast to the traditional notion of slow, spatially homogeneous, and diffuse neuromodulation. Here, we find that spatially constrained cholinergic stimulation can generate theta-modulated gamma rhythms. Using biophysically-based excitatory-inhibitory (E-I) neural network models, we simulate the effects of ACh on neural excitability by varying the conductance of a muscarinic receptor-regulated K + current. In E-I networks with local excitatory connectivity and global inhibitory connectivity, we demonstrate that theta-gamma-coupled firing patterns emerge in ACh modulated network regions. Stable gamma-modulated firing arises within regions with high ACh signaling, while theta or mixed theta-gamma activity occurs at the peripheries of these regions. High gamma activity also alternates between different high-ACh regions, at theta frequency. Our results are the first to indicate a causal role for spatially heterogenous ACh signaling in the emergence of localized theta-gamma rhythmicity. Our findings also provide novel insights into mechanisms by which ACh signaling supports the brain region-specific attentional processing of sensory information. 
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