Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization -- Department for Nonlinear Dynamics and Network Dynamics Group
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Thursday, 29.01.2015 08:30 s.t.

Self-organization of microcircuits in a brain system

by Prof. Dr. Michele Migliore
from Institute of Biophysics, National Research Council, Palermo, Italy

Contact person: Detlev Schild


Bibliothek des Physiologischen Instituts, Humboldtallee 23, 37073 Göttingen


The functional operations of neuron microcircuits, involved with higher brain functions, require a continuous self-organization of the underlying synaptic network that is extremely difficult to explore experimentally. In the olfactory bulb system, recent experimental evidence suggests that odor processing before cortical action is organized in well-defined, sparse, and segregated synaptic clusters. The observed columnar organization of these clusters can emerge from the interaction among odor inputs, action potential backpropagation in the mitral cell lateral dendrites, and dendrodendritic mitral-granule cell synapses. In this talk, I will first discuss how the feedback and lateral inhibitory action of the clusters can explain the experimentally-observed firing dynamics of mitral cells during sniffs of different odors. Then, using our latest large-scale 3D model of the olfactory bulb microcircuit and a novel theoretical approach, I will discuss the mechanisms and requirements for forming one or more glomerular units in response to a given odor; how and to what extent the glomerular units interfere or interact with each other during learning; their computational role within the olfactory bulb microcircuit; and how their action can be formalized into a theoretical framework in which the olfactory bulb can be considered to contain “odor operators” unique to each individual. The results provide new and specific theoretical and experimentally testable predictions.

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