Dynamics of a mutual inhibition circuit between pyramidal neurons compared to human perceptual competition

Kogo, Naoki, Kern, Felix B, Nowotny, Thomas, van Ee, Raymond, van Wezel, Richard and Alhara, Takeshi (2021) Dynamics of a mutual inhibition circuit between pyramidal neurons compared to human perceptual competition. Journal of Neuroscience, 41 (6). pp. 1251-1264. ISSN 0270-6474

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Neural competition plays an essential role in active selection processes of noisy and ambiguous input signals, and it is assumed to underlie emergent properties of brain functioning, such as perceptual organization and decision-making. Despite ample theoretical research on neural competition, experimental tools to allow neurophysiological investigation of competing neurons have not been available. We developed a “hybrid” system where real-life neurons and a computer-simulated neural circuit interacted. It enabled us to construct a mutual inhibition circuit between two real-life pyramidal neurons. We then asked what dynamics this minimal unit of neural competition exhibits and compared them with the known behavioral-level dynamics of neural competition. We found that the pair of neurons shows bistability when activated simultaneously by current injections. The addition of modeled synaptic noise and changes in the activation strength showed that the dynamics of the circuit are strikingly similar to the known properties of bistable visual perception: The distribution of dominance durations showed a right-skewed shape, and the changes of the activation strengths caused changes in dominance, dominance durations, and reversal rates as stated in the well-known empirical laws of bistable perception known as Levelt's propositions.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Systems Neuroscience
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
Research Centres and Groups: Sussex Neuroscience
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2021 08:07
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2022 12:18
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/97178

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Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
Brains on Board: Neuromorphic Control of Flying RobotsG1980EPSRC-ENGINEERING & PHYSICAL SCIENCES RESEARCH COUNCILEP/P006094/1
Human Brain Project Specific Grant Agreement 2 — HBP SGA2G2410EUROPEAN UNION785907