Stimulus-induced response patterns of medium-embedded neurons
Saratov State University, Astrakhanskaya St. 83, 410012 Saratov, Russia
Revised: 9 August 2010
Published online: 1 October 2010
Neuronal ensembles in living organisms are often embedded in a media that provides additional interaction pathways and autoregulation. The underlying mechanisms include but are not limited to modulatory activity of some distantly propagated neuromediators like serotonin, variation of extracellular potassium concentration in brain tissue, and calcium waves propagation in networks of astrocytes. Interaction of these diverse processes can lead to formation of complex spatiotemporal patterns, both self-sustained or triggered by external signal. Besides network effects, many dynamical features of such systems originate from reciprocal interaction between single neuron and surrounding medium. In the present paper we study the response of such systems to the application of a single stimulus pulse. We use a minimal mathematical model representing a forced excitable unit that is embedded in a diffusive or (spatially inhomogeneous) excitable medium. We illustrate three different mechanisms for the formation of response patterns: (i) self-sustained depolarization, (ii) propagation of depolarization due to “nearest-neighbor” networks, and (iii) re-entrant waves.
© EDP Sciences, Springer-Verlag, 2010