A Diffusive Homeostatic Signal Maintains Neural Heterogeneity and Responsiveness in Cortical Networks
2015 (English)In: PloS Computational Biology, ISSN 1553-734X, E-ISSN 1553-7358, Vol. 11, no 7, e1004389Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Gaseous neurotransmitters such as nitric oxide (NO) provide a unique and often overlooked mechanism for neurons to communicate through diffusion within a network, independent of synaptic connectivity. NO provides homeostatic control of intrinsic excitability. Here we conduct a theoretical investigation of the distinguishing roles of NO-mediated diffusive homeo-stasis in comparison with canonical non-diffusive homeostasis in cortical networks. We find that both forms of homeostasis provide a robust mechanism for maintaining stable activity following perturbations. However, the resulting networks differ, with diffusive homeostasis maintaining substantial heterogeneity in activity levels of individual neurons, a feature disrupted in networks with non-diffusive homeostasis. This results in networks capable of representing input heterogeneity, and linearly responding over a broader range of inputs than those undergoing non-diffusive homeostasis. We further show that these properties are preserved when homeostatic and Hebbian plasticity are combined. These results suggest a mechanism for dynamically maintaining neural heterogeneity, and expose computational advantages of non-local homeostatic processes.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 11, no 7, e1004389
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-173990DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004389ISI: 000360620100034PubMedID: 26158556ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84938630123OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-173990DiVA: diva2:858227
QC 201510012015-10-012015-09-242015-10-01Bibliographically approved