Dynamic control for synchronization of separated cortical areas through thalamic relay

Leonardo L. Gollo, Claudio Mirasso, Alessandro E.P. Villa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Binding of features and information which are processed at different cortical areas is generally supposed to be achieved by synchrony despite the non-negligible delays between these areas. In this work we study the dynamics and synchronization properties of a simplified model of the thalamocortical circuit where different cortical areas are interconnected with a certain delay, that is longer than the internal time scale of the neurons. Using this simple model we find that the thalamus could serve as a central subcortical area that is able to generate zero-lag synchrony between distant cortical areas by means of dynamical relaying (Vicente et al., 2008). Our results show that the model circuit is able to generate fast oscillations in frequency ranges of the beta and gamma bands triggered by an external input to the thalamus formed by independent Poisson trains. We propose a control mechanism to turn "On" and "Off" the synchronization between cortical areas as a function of the relative rate of the external input fed into dorsal and ventral thalamic neuronal populations. The current results emphasize the hypothesis that the thalamus could control the dynamics of the thalamocortical functional networks enabling two separated cortical areas to be either synchronized (at zero-lag) or unsynchronized. This control may happen at a fast time scale, in agreement with experimental data, and without any need of plasticity or adaptation mechanisms which typically require longer time scales.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)947-955
Number of pages9
JournalNeuroImage
Volume52
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Correlation
  • Dynamic relaying
  • Firing pattern
  • Reticular thalamic nucleus
  • Thalamocortical circuit
  • Thalamus
  • Zero-lag synchronization

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