Pyramidal Arborizations and Activity Spread in Neocortex

Adrian Robert, July 1998

A model of a patch of neocortex was constructed by reference to the details of pyramidal and inhibitory arbors in rat somatosensory cortex, and its behavior was compared to slice experiments measuring activity spread following point-stimulation. Two features of pyramidal arbors played a prominent role in the results and may affect cortical information transmission: 1) dual horizontal structure, in which connections are made densely within 0.5 mm and sparsely over 2-3 mm -- affected characteristic length and rate of propagation; 2) significant restriction of projections to the vertical compartment (superficial, middle, deep) of origin -- resulted in laminar differences in activity levels.
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