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The location of the axon initial segment affects the bandwidth of spike initiation dynamics

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posted on 13.07.2020 by Christophe Verbist, Michele Giugliano

The dynamics and the sharp onset of action potentials (APs) generation have been the subject of recent intense experimental and theoretical investigations. According to the resistive coupling theory, it is an electrotonic interplay between the site of AP initiation in the axon and the somato-dendritic load to determines the AP waveform. This phenomenon not only alters the shape of AP recorded at the soma but also determines the dynamics of excitability across a variety of time scales. Supporting this statement, here we generalise a previous numerical study and extend it to the quantification of the input-output gain of the neuronal dynamical response. We consider three classes of multicompartmental neuron models, ranging from ball-and-stick simplified descriptions of neuronal excitability to 3D-reconstructed biophysical models of excitatory neurons of rodent and human cortical tissue. For each model, we demonstrate that increasing the distance between the axonal site of AP initiation and the soma markedly increases the bandwidth of neuronal response properties. We finally consider the Liquid State Machine paradigm, exploring the impact of altering the site of AP initiation at the level of a neuronal population, and demonstrate that an optimal distance exists to boost the computational performance on a simple classification task of the network.

Funding

Horizon 2020 Framework Program for Research and Innovation, under the Specific Grant Agreement n. 785907 (Human Brain Project SGA2)

Research Foundation - Flanders (grant n. G0F1517N), the Austrian Science Fund (FWF; grant n. I 3251-N33)

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