Modeling biophysical and neural circuit bases for core cognitive abilities evident in neuroimaging patterns: hippocampal mismatch, mismatch negativity, repetition positivity, and alpha suppression of distractors
Berteau, Stefan André
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This dissertation develops computational models to address outstanding problems in the domain of expectation-related cognitive processes and their neuroimaging markers in functional MRI or EEG. The new models reveal a way to unite diverse phenomena within a common framework focused on dynamic neural encoding shifts, which can arise from robust interactive effects of M-currents and chloride currents in pyramidal neurons. By specifying efficient, biologically realistic circuits that achieve predictive coding (e.g., Friston, 2005), these models bridge among neuronal biophysics, systems neuroscience, and theories of cognition. Chapter one surveys data types and neural processes to be examined, and outlines the Dynamically Labeled Predictive Coding (DLPC) framework developed during the research. Chapter two models hippocampal prediction and mismatch, using the DLPC framework. Chapter three presents extensions to the model that allow its application for modeling neocortical EEG genesis. Simulations of this extended model illustrate how dynamic encoding shifts can produce Mismatch Negativity (MMN) phenomena, including pharmacological effects on MMN reported for humans or animals. Chapters four and five describe new modeling studies of possible neural bases for alpha-induced information suppression, a phenomenon associated with active ignoring of stimuli. Two models explore the hypothesis that in simple rate-based circuits, information suppression might be a robust effect of neural saturation states arising near peaks of resonant alpha oscillations. A new proposal is also introduced for how the basal ganglia may control onset and offset of alpha-induced information suppression. Although these rate models could reproduce many experimental findings, they fell short of reproducing a key electrophysiological finding: phase-dependent reduction in spiking activity correlated with power in the alpha frequency band. Therefore, chapter five also specifies how a DLPC model, adapted from the neocortical model developed in chapter three, can provide an expectation-based model of alpha-induced information suppression that exhibits phase-dependent spike reduction during alpha-band oscillations. The model thus can explain experimental findings that were not reproduced by the rate models. The final chapter summarizes main theses, results, and basic research implications, then suggests future directions, including expanded models of neocortical mismatch, applications to artificial neural networks, and the introduction of reward circuitry.