Using a hybrid neuron in physiologically inspired models of the basal ganglia
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Our current understanding of the basal ganglia has facilitated the creation of computational models that have contributed novel theories, explored new functional anatomy and demonstrated results complementing physiological experiments. However, the utility of these models extends beyond these applications. Particularly in neuromorphic engineering, where the basal ganglia's role in computation is important for applications such as power efficient autonomous agents and model-based control strategies. The neurons used in existing computational models of the basal ganglia however, are not amenable for many low-power hardware implementations. Motivated by a need for more hardware accessible networks, we replicate four published models of the basal ganglia, spanning single neuron and small networks, replacing the more computationally expensive neuron models with an Izhikevich hybrid neuron. This begins with a network modeling action-selection, where the basal activity levels and the ability to appropriately select the most salient input is reproduced. A Parkinson's disease model is then explored under normal conditions, Parkinsonian conditions and during subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation. The resulting network is capable of replicating the loss of thalamic relay capabilities in the Parkinsonian state and its return under deep brain stimulation. This is also demonstrated using a network capable of action-selection. Finally, a study of correlation transfer under different patterns of Parkinsonian activity is presented. These networks successfully captured the significant results of the originals studies. This not only creates a foundation for neuromorphic hardware implementations but may also support the development of large-scale biophysical models. The former potentially providing a way of improving the efficacy of deep brain stimulation and the latter allowing for the efficient simulation of larger more comprehensive networks.
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