• Bower, James (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


The proposed research will contribute to the understanding of how the
cerebellar cortex integrates mossy fiber input into Purkinje cell output.
The approach to be taken includes both the construction of a detailed
compartmental model of a single Purkinje cell and the large scale
simulation of a realistic network model of cerebellar cortical circuitry.
Both types of models will be run on a parallel supercomputer. All
modeling results will be related to ongoing physiological investigations
in the lab. The detailed compartmental model of the Purkinje cell will be constructed
from morphological and electrophysiological data obtained from the rat
cerebellum. This model will first be used to study the processing of
random parallel fiber synaptic inputs examining interactions between
asynchronous and synchronous inputs. We will then explore which synaptic
mechanisms could underlie prolonged synaptic depolarizations we have
found to follow granule cell activation. These simulations will first
be performed on a model with relatively simple calcium dynamics.
However, the modeling effort will then be extended to include detailed
modeling of calcium diffusion and buffering. These results will be
directly relevant to current discussions of parallel fiber synaptic
plasticity including the effects of long term depression on synaptic
integration. The second phase of these experiments involves the incorporation of the
modeled Purkinje cell as well as other neurons in the cerebellar cortex
into a large scale network model of folium crus IIa of the rat cerebellar
cortex. This model will be closely based upon known structural and
physical properties of this region of the cerebellum and will produce
neuron-like outputs that can be compared to data from actual
physiological experiments. With this network model we will explore how
Purkinje cells react to realistic patterns of parallel fiber synaptic
inputs generated by the tactile mossy fiber projections to this
cerebellar region. Ultimately, we hope to determine how the detailed
patterns of these fractured tactile maps shape overlying Purkinje cell
firing patterns.
Effective start/end date12/1/9212/31/96


  • National Institutes of Health: $161,044.00


  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)


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