Mechanisms underlying control and propagation of signals in neural networks
Information in the nervous system is encoded via the activities of a large and diverse population of excitatory and inhibitory neurons. The generation and transmission of signals is predicated on the ability of networks to maintain a precise balance between excitation and inhibition. Too much excitation can lead to pathological conditions such as epilepsy and too much inhibition can halt information transfer across brain regions. Using the culture preparation, which provide access to variables that are difficult to measure in the intact brain, in combination with optogenetic techniques for delivering precisely controlled stimuli to the network, we elucidated the synaptic scaling rules for maintaining excitatory-inhibitory balance and the optimal conditions for propagating signals in multilayer networks.
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