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Characterizing the responsiveness of thalamic neurons is crucial to understanding the flow of sensory information. Typically, thalamocortical neurons possess two distinct firing modes. At depolarized membrane potentials, thalamic cells fire single action potentials and faithfully relay synaptic inputs to the cortex. At hyperpolarized potentials, the(More)
Sensory information reaches the cerebral cortex through the thalamus, which differentially relays this input depending on the state of arousal. Such 'gating' involves inhibition of the thalamocortical relay neurons by the reticular nucleus of the thalamus, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. We reconstructed the thalamocortical circuit as(More)
Sensory relay structures in the spinal cord dorsal horn are now thought to be active processing structures that function before supraspinal sensory integration. Dorsal horn neurons directly receive nociceptive (pain) signals from the periphery, express a high degree of functional plasticity and are involved in long-term sensitization and chronic pain. We(More)
We use dynamic clamp to construct "hybrid" thalamic circuits by connecting a biological neuron in situ to silicon- or software-generated "neurons" through artificial synapses. The purpose is to explore cellular sensory gating mechanisms that regulate the transfer efficiency of signals during different sleep-wake states. Hybrid technology is applied in vitro(More)
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), identified as a distinct clinical entity by Charcot since the end of the nineteenth century, is a devastating and fatal neurodegenerative disorder that affects motor neurons in the brain, brainstem and spinal cord. Survival of patients with ALS is associated with several factors such as clinical phenotype, age at onset,(More)
Deep dorsal horn relay neurons (dDHNs) of the spinal cord are known to exhibit multiple firing patterns under the control of local metabotropic neuromodulation: tonic firing, plateau potential, and spontaneous oscillations. This work investigates the role of interactions between voltage-gated channels and the occurrence of different firing patterns and then(More)
Computational neuroscience is emerging as a new approach in biological neural networks studies. In an attempt to contribute to this field, we present here a modeling work based on the implementation of biological neurons using specific analog integrated circuits. We first describe the mathematical basis of such models, then present analog emulations of(More)
The endocannabinoid (eCB) system and the cannabinoid CB1 receptor (CB1R) play key roles in the modulation of brain functions. Although actions of eCBs and CB1Rs are well described at the synaptic level, little is known of their modulation of neural activity at the network level. Using microelectrode arrays, we have examined the role of CB1R activation in(More)
In the dorsal horn of the spinal cord, pain-transmitting neurons exhibit action potential windup, a form of short-term plasticity, which consists of a progressive increase in neuronal response during repetitive stimulation of nociceptive input fibers. Windup depends on N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor activation, but previous in vitro studies indicated(More)