Toward a full-scale computational model of the rat dentate gyrus

Calvin J. Schneider, Marianne Bezaire, Ivan Soltesz
2012 Frontiers in Neural Circuits  
Recent advances in parallel computing, including the creation of the parallel version of the NEURON simulation environment, have allowed for a previously unattainable level of complexity and detail in neural network models. Previously, we published a functional NEURON model of the rat dentate gyrus with over 50,000 biophysically realistic, multicompartmental neurons, but network simulations could only utilize a single processor. By converting the model to take advantage of parallel NEURON, we
more » ... e now able to utilize greater computational resources and are able to simulate the full-scale dentate gyrus, containing over a million neurons. This has eliminated the previous necessity for scaling adjustments and allowed for a more direct comparison to experimental techniques and results. The translation to parallel computing has provided a superlinear speedup of computation time and dramatically increased the overall computer memory available to the model. The incorporation of additional computational resources has allowed for more detail and elements to be included in the model, bringing the model closer to a more complete and accurate representation of the biological dentate gyrus. As an example of a major step toward an increasingly accurate representation of the biological dentate gyrus, we discuss the incorporation of realistic granule cell dendrites into the model. Our previous model contained simplified, two-dimensional dendritic morphologies that were identical for neurons of the same class. Using the software tools L-Neuron and L-Measure, we are able to introduce cell-to-cell variability by generating detailed, three-dimensional granule cell morphologies that are based on biological reconstructions. Through these and other improvements, we aim to construct a more complete full-scale model of the rat dentate gyrus, to provide a better tool to delineate the functional role of cell types within the dentate gyrus and their pathological changes observed in epilepsy.
doi:10.3389/fncir.2012.00083 pmid:23162433 pmcid:PMC3499761 fatcat:lsngyyse5rghrojyyisqpccz7u