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Author Notes:

Corresponding author: Anca Doloc-Mihu, Department of Biology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America. Email: adolocm@emory.edu.

Conceived and designed the experiments: RLC. Wrote the paper: ADM RLC.

Performed the experiments: ADM.

Analyzed the data: ADM RLC.

Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: ADM.

Wrote the paper: ADM RLC.

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


Research Funding:

This study was funded by NIH grant R01 NS085006.

Identifying Crucial Parameter Correlations Maintaining Bursting Activity

Journal Title:

PLoS Computational Biology


Volume 10, Number 6


, Pages e1003678-e1003678

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Recent experimental and computational studies suggest that linearly correlated sets of parameters (intrinsic and synaptic properties of neurons) allow central pattern-generating networks to produce and maintain their rhythmic activity regardless of changing internal and external conditions. To determine the role of correlated conductances in the robust maintenance of functional bursting activity, we used our existing database of half-center oscillator (HCO) model instances of the leech heartbeat CPG. From the database, we identified functional activity groups of burster (isolated neuron) and half-center oscillator model instances and realistic subgroups of each that showed burst characteristics (principally period and spike frequency) similar to the animal. To find linear correlations among the conductance parameters maintaining functional leech bursting activity, we applied Principal Component Analysis (PCA) to each of these four groups. PCA identified a set of three maximal conductances (leak current, Leak; a persistent K current, K2; and of a persistent Na+ current, P) that correlate linearly for the two groups of burster instances but not for the HCO groups. Visualizations of HCO instances in a reduced space suggested that there might be non-linear relationships between these parameters for these instances. Experimental studies have shown that period is a key attribute influenced by modulatory inputs and temperature variations in heart interneurons. Thus, we explored the sensitivity of period to changes in maximal conductances of Leak, K2, and P, and we found that for our realistic bursters the effect of these parameters on period could not be assessed because when varied individually bursting activity was not maintained.

Copyright information:

© 2014 Doloc-Mihu, Calabrese.

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