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Module I. Introduction to biophysical models of individual cells and phase
plane analysis
Models of different detailedness are needed at different times. Sometimes it is
important to capture phenomenology and sometimes – biophysical mechanisms
1. Neuron, ions, firing, bursting, spiking, tonic and phasic responses; General current
balance equation; Hodgkin-Huxley equations
EXTENSION: Spatially extended neuron
EXTENSION: Other membrane currents and what they do
Goal of this bit: generic equation, we can program and solve it. We know how to talk
about different currents in terms of fast-slow behavior of their gating variables.
Reading: (note that all reading covers similar material, but presented slightly
differently than what happens in class) Sections 1, 2 of the Lecture notes; chapters
1,2,4 of I, chapters 1,3 of ET
1. Read about neurons, or about phase-plane methods. We are learning
terminology, getting everybody on the same page
2. Simulate a Hodgkin-huxley model in matlab, make it spike.
3. Consider other currents. e.g. IK-Ca, IAHP, IA, Ih, IM, IKLT,IT. Pick 2 of the currents.
Explain what happens at different holding voltage levels, what this current
does and how it contributes to the changes in voltage in the following
a) if the voltage is suddenly depolarized from rest and held there;
b) depolarized with a pulse after constant hyperpolarization;
c) released to rest after constant hyperpolarization;
d) slowly depolarizing current ramp is presented.