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Similar network activity from disparate circuit parameters

Nature Neuroscience volume 7, pages 13451352 (2004) | Download Citation

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Abstract

It is often assumed that cellular and synaptic properties need to be regulated to specific values to allow a neuronal network to function properly. To determine how tightly neuronal properties and synaptic strengths need to be tuned to produce a given network output, we simulated more than 20 million versions of a three-cell model of the pyloric network of the crustacean stomatogastric ganglion using different combinations of synapse strengths and neuron properties. We found that virtually indistinguishable network activity can arise from widely disparate sets of underlying mechanisms, suggesting that there could be considerable animal-to-animal variability in many of the parameters that control network activity, and that many different combinations of synaptic strengths and intrinsic membrane properties can be consistent with appropriate network performance.

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Acknowledgements

We thank L.F. Abbott for comments on an earlier version of this manuscript. This work was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to E.M. (MH-46742), and by the Sloan-Swartz Center for Theoretical Neurobiology at Brandeis University.

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  1. Volen Center and Biology Department, Brandeis University, Mail Stop 013, 415 South Street, Waltham, Massachusetts 02454-9110, USA.

    • Astrid A Prinz
    • , Dirk Bucher
    •  & Eve Marder

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Correspondence to Astrid A Prinz.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/nn1352

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