Excitable neurons, firing threshold manifolds and canards
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CitationJohn Mitry, Michelle McCarthy, Nancy Kopell, Martin Wechselberger. 2013. "Excitable neurons, firing threshold manifolds and canards.." J Math Neurosci, Volume 3, Issue 1:12.
We investigate firing threshold manifolds in a mathematical model of an excitable neuron. The model analyzed investigates the phenomenon of post-inhibitory rebound spiking due to propofol anesthesia and is adapted from McCarthy et al. (SIAM J. Appl. Dyn. Syst. 11(4):1674-1697, 2012). Propofol modulates the decay time-scale of an inhibitory GABAa synaptic current. Interestingly, this system gives rise to rebound spiking within a specific range of propofol doses. Using techniques from geometric singular perturbation theory, we identify geometric structures, known as canards of folded saddle-type, which form the firing threshold manifolds. We find that the position and orientation of the canard separatrix is propofol dependent. Thus, the speeds of relevant slow synaptic processes are encoded within this geometric structure. We show that this behavior cannot be understood using a static, inhibitory current step protocol, which can provide a single threshold for rebound spiking but cannot explain the observed cessation of spiking for higher propofol doses. We then compare the analyses of dynamic and static synaptic inhibition, showing how the firing threshold manifolds of each relate, and why a current step approach is unable to fully capture the behavior of this model.