Neuronal Activity Patterns

 

Neuronal activity patterns in prefrontal cortex neurons. Dr. Womble (Biology) and Dr. Jalics (Math).

This project will investigate the neuronal activity patterns in prefrontal cortex neurons using neurophysiological techniques and a mathematical model of the neuron. Electrophysiological recording techniques will be used to characterize neuronal properties and the variety of ionic currents found in prefrontal cortex neurons. These data will provide the relevant parameters for the development of a mathematical model of the neuron, based on the Hodgkin-Huxley equations. There will be continual comparisons between the results obtained from neuron recordings and predictions derived from the model. Students will use dynamical systems modeling techniques to study how alterations to the parameters representing individual ionic currents within the model yield changes in neuronal activity. These model predictions will then be tested in vitro using drugs that inhibit or alter specific ionic currents. In this way, students will investigate the manner in which changes to various ionic currents alter neuronal behavior. This project will provide students with a strong understanding of the electrophysiology of neurons and the mathematical tools required to produce a qualitative analysis of neuronal activity patterns.

 

MBURDepartment of Mathematics and StatisticsDepartment of Biological SciencesYoungstown State University

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